Cops accused of staging murder scene

04 October 2019 | Crime

Shocking allegations have emerged that police officers may have staged a murder scene by putting a panga in the hands of a man after he was gunned down.

According to Uutsathima village headman Mateus Paulus, a community member is adamant that the police staged the scene where 26-year-old Kefas Ndevelo Shaanika was shot dead on 25 September and that he was shot in the back.

A police officer stationed at the Uutsathima satellite police station shot and killed Shaanika, with the police report indicating he had attempted to attack the cop with a panga.

According to regional police spokesperson, Inspector Linekela Shikongo, two cases of robbery and assault were opened against Shaanika and police officers were attempting to arrest him.

Paulus said a community member who witnessed the shooting incident reported to him that Shaanika had no panga and that he had not attempted to attack the police officer. “A report I received from a community member said Shaanika was only trying to run away from the police officers while having a cellphone in his hand.

“Three police officers were chasing him on foot while the fourth was in a police vehicle. He tried to hide but the officer in the car saw him and drove toward him. He got up and started running away and then the officer shot him and he died at the scene,” Paulus said.

“That officer drove to the police station and came back with a panga and put it in the deceased's hands to make appear as if he was armed. Shaanika got shot from the back and not in front as the police are reporting.”

According to Paulus, community members recognised the panga.

“Community members recognised the panga the officer put in the deceased's hand, as they (police officers) confiscated it from a community member a few days before the incident,” he said.

Shikongo told Namibian Sun that in the middle of September a case of robbery was opened against Shaanika at the Uutsathima satellite police station. Police officials were looking for him, but they could not find him.

He said it was reported that after the robbery he relocated to Olumhelengwa. During the morning of 25 September, a man from Olumhelengwa went to open a case of assault against Shaanika at the Uutsathima satellite police station. He was assaulted with a sharp object and was bleeding from the head. Police officers decided to look for Shaanika at Olumhelengwa, but they could not find him. They came back to Uutsathima, where they found him at a cuca shop, but he decided to flee when he heard the police were looking for him. Paulus, however, said they were not aware that the police were looking for Shaanika, who on 25 September came to Uutsathima complaining about people stealing his grass.

“We know Shaanika as an animal grass harvester at Olumhelengwa and he sells the grass to farmers. That day he came to Uutsathima complaining that some people had stolen his grass. We were puzzled to see the police chasing him because all we knew about was that he had complained about grass theft,” said Paulus.

Shikongo yesterday the police were sticking to their panga-attack version, which is already before the court. Ongandjera Traditional Authority chairperson Johannes Kandombo said he had received the same version as Paulus.

He said despite the police officer being on duty, he has to pay a peace settlement to the family, as per the rules of the eight Aawambo traditional authorities.

“Shaanika is part of the San community in Uutsathima and the incident happened within the jurisdiction of the Ongandjera and I have to give a report to King Johannes Jafet Mupiya. I was also informed by the community members that the deceased had no panga and that the scene was staged,” Kandombo said.

“According to the rule of the eight traditional authorities of the Aawambo, when you take someone's life you have to pay a peace settlement of either 10 cows of N$15 000. According to the traditional authority, a cow costs N$1 500. We are expecting the same rule to apply in this regard.”