Justice for Captain Hans finally served

Niël Terblanché

Four men have been convicted for the 2016 robbery and murder of Hans Jörg Möller, or Captain Hans, as he was fondly referred to, bringing closure to a case that has gripped the Namibian community for eight years.

High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku delivered the verdict on Monday, finding Panduleni Gotlieb, David Tashiya, David Shekundja, and Elly Hinaivali guilty on multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, housebreaking with intent to rob, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and possession of a firearm and ammunition without a license.

Captain Möller, a well-known businessman in Walvis Bay, was fatally shot in his home during a violent robbery on the night of 16 June 2016.

In her judgment, Justice Usiku found that the convicted men had conspired to carry out the robbery after receiving a tip-off from an employee of the Möller family, who informed them about a substantial amount of money kept in a safe in the house.

During the robbery, Möller was shot in the abdomen and succumbed to his injuries a day later while receiving emergency medical treatment in the hospital.

His wife, Carol-Ann Möller, was also severely assaulted but survived the attack.

The judge found that the four convicted persons also attempted to murder her during the ordeal.

A pistol was found in Gotlieb’s possession at a police roadblock near Ondangwa shortly after the robbery, which was a pivotal piece of evidence.

The firearm was linked directly to the projectile that mortally wounded Möller.

Additional items found in Gotlieb’s possession included foreign currency, passport photos of the Möllers’ daughters, and tools used for housebreaking.

A fifth accused, Malakia Shiweda, was acquitted after convincing the court that he was not present during the robbery but had only driven his co-accused from Walvis Bay to Windhoek.

Captain Hans was a respected businessman, as well as an accomplished pilot and aviator.

His murder shocked the community of Walvis Bay, Namibia as well as the international clientele of his tourism business.

The eight-year-long process to finally deliver justice to the perpetrators of the crime has been fraught with delays and complications, including applications to recall witnesses and the replacement of defence lawyers.

The sentencing procedures for the convicted men are scheduled to continue on Monday next week.

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