“I hve to look after my jobless girlfriend and three-year-old child”

Floris Steenkamp

One of the suspects in the murder in August last year in Swakopmund of the elderly couple, Siegfried and Roswitha Strzelecki, argues he needs to get bail in order to earn an income to care for his unemployed girlfriend and his three-year-old child. He further argues bail would also afford him the opportunity again to care for his teenage siblings and he needs to pay salaries to two cattle herders he employs in the north.

Fabianus Lazarus (24) presented these arguments last week at his bail application hearing in the Swakopmund magistrates court. Two of his co-accused, Daniël Nghilifa (26) and Jerobeam Shidute (23), abandoned their intentions to also apply for bail.
The trio faces charges of conspiracy to rob and murder, housebreaking, robbery, murder and hindering the course of justice. If convicted they face hefty prison sentences.
It is alleged Nghilifa, Shidute and Lazarus broke into the house of the Strzelecki’s in Vineta on 2 August last year. Nghilifa and Shidute worked at the elderly couple’s residence in the weeks before the murder.
Lazarus conspired with the two and masterminded a plan to gain entry to a safe the couple had in their home.
After breaking in the trio first encountered Mrs. Strzelecki. They assaulted her, tied her up and gagged before she was strangled. When Mr. Strzelecki attempted to his wife’s rescue he too was severely beaten up, strangled and left for dead.
The robbers failed in their attempt to open the safe and instead stole a cell phone, the keys of the house, N$1000 in cash and a pair of sandals belonging to Mrs. Strzelecki before fleeing the scene.
The bail hearing continues tomorrow. The State opposes bail on the grounds Lazarus poses a flight risk, could intervene in the ongoing investigation and it is not in the public’s interest or safety that he is freed.

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