Murder added to Namibian man’s poaching rap
March 13, 2015

WINDHOEK chiropractor Gerson Kandjii, already facing criminal charges related to the poaching of four critically endangered black rhinos in the Etosha Park since November, appeared in court with four others yesterday on charges related to the murder of retired German industrialist Reinhard Schmidt.

Kandjii, until recently doctor to the Namibian national soccer team, and his co-accused were not asked to plead in the Mariental Lower Court, and the case was postponed to May 5.

The second arrest came after a manhunt was launched last Friday following the discovery of Schmidt’s body in the house on his hunting farm outside Kalkrand, about 200km south of Windhoek. Schmidt was believed to have suffocated after his attackers had tied him up and taped up his mouth and nose, police said.

Police sources said charges in connection with Schmidt’s murder were still being formulated, after the suspects were taken to the scene of the crime this week.

Kandjii and three other men were arrested in November and charged with the poaching of rhinos in Etosha. He was granted bail of R20 000 by the Oka- haoMagistrate’sCourtinJanuary,beforeaballistics test linking his hunting rifle to the Etosha poaching became available, officials said.

“The bullets recovered from the carcasses in Etosha were a match for the accused’s gun,” Namib- ian police’s Protected Resources Unit commander Chief Inspector Barry de Klerk said this week.

The rifle was equipped with a silencer and high- powered telescope, as was a second, unlicensed rifle seized from another suspect, Daniel Nghidinua.

Nghidinua had also been granted bail by the Oka- hao Magistrate’s Court, as the evidence – apart from possessing a firearm for which he had no licence – was thin, an official said.

“The ballistics linking Kandjii’s gun to the rhino poaching in Etosha was, unfortunately, not yet avail- able,” he said. The entire case had been moved to Outapi as a precaution.