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Babi awaits bail judgement (Namibia)

Babi awaits trial on 16 April, 2021. Image: As originally published by New Era.

Maria Amakali, New Era | March 10, 2021

Read the original story here.

The bail judgement into the case of self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the House of Joy Ministries, Jackson Babi, is scheduled to be delivered next week in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

Magistrate Linus Samunzala will pronounce himself on whether Babi has satisfied the court that he should be granted bail pending the finalisation of his case.

The court scheduled the matter to 19 March and remanded Babi in police custody. The ‘prophet’ is scheduled to stand trial on bribery charges for allegedly offering investigating officers N$13 000 in an attempt to have him released on bail.

The incident happened on 26 June 2020. The investigating officers were tasked to investigate Babi’s first case where he is facing charges of having two rhino horns, a firearm and ammunition without a licence.

He was initially charged alongside Ananias Ananias last year. However, the prosecutor general decided not to prosecute Ananias for the crime due to a lack of evidence.

Babi, in his second case, is charged alongside Frizans Naululu Dumeni. Both men have since denied any wrongdoing during their preliminary plea on 3 March. They were arrested in May and form part of the group that was found to have rhino horns.

According to police reports at the time, the group of eight men includes a police officer from the VIP protection directorate. The prosecution is charging the accused with counts of possessing or dealing in two rhino horns, hunting a rhinoceros that is protected by law and possessing a hunting rifle and ammunition without a licence.

Prosecution claims Babi and Dumeni were in possession or dealt in two rhino horns at Babi’s residence in Kleine Kuppe in Windhoek on 26 and 27 May 2020. The alleged discovery of the horns, firearm and bullets also led to the arrest of Babi, Dumeni and two other suspects: Alberto Mbwale and Joseph Matheus.

It is alleged the much-sought horns are linked to the poaching of two rhinos found dead and with their horns removed in the area of Gobabis in May.

According to court records, Babi has a third case in Gobabis Magistrate’s Court, where he faces charges of illegal hunting of specially protected game in the Gobabis district alongside Mbwale and Matheus.

The prosecutor general has instructed that his cases be compiled for a decision.

Babi is scheduled to appear in court on 16 April for the prosecutor general’s decision in the second case.