Kalahari officers face 73 misconduct cases

05 March 2020 | Police

While more than 6 000 people were arrested during Operation Kalahari Desert, 73 incidents of alleged unprofessional conduct were also recorded involving law-enforcement officers.

Operation Kalahari Desert came to an end yesterday and yet another countrywide anti-crime operation, code-named Operation Namib Desert, was officially launched.

Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said of the 73 incidents involving Operation Kalahari Desert members, 49 are still under investigation.

One case was finalised, two are on the court roll and one was withdrawn by the complainant.

The prosecutor-general's office declined to prosecute seven cases, while a decision on 13 others is still awaited.

Speaking on the successes of Operation Kalahari Desert, Ndeitunga said a total of 6 194 suspects were arrested.

Of these, 3 566 were for offences such as murder, attempted murder, rape, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, possession of wildlife products, and housebreaking and theft.

A total 2 628 arrests were for minor offences.

Ndeitunga said 6 908 dangerous weapons were confiscated, including 45 rifles, 43 shotguns, 186 pistols and 1 471 rounds of ammunition. Other weapons such as knives, screwdrivers, pangas and spears were also seized.

He said drugs to the value of more than N$10.33 million was confiscated, including cannabis, mandrax and cocaine.

A total of 27 339 summons were issued and 744 livestock was recovered.

Operation Kalahari Desert was launched last May after Operation Hornkranz came to an end.

Meanwhile, Operation Namib Desert, which commenced yesterday, will last until 28 May, with intervals every 28 days.

Ndeitunga said the Namib Desert, which stretches along Namibia's entire coastline to the west, has a rich and historical significance.

The Namib, particularly at Skeleton Coast, constituted a formidable barrier to foreign explorers, traders and would-be settlers during Namibia's pre-colonial era, he said.

“We attach a special sentimental affection and meaning to the Namib, and have decided to name the police-led joint crime-prevention operation after the oldest desert, as we intend to put up a formidable barrier to crime in Namibia.”

Operation Namib Desert has mobilised a reckonable size of men and women in uniform countrywide, drawn from the police, the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), the Namibian Correctional Service, the Windhoek City Police and other municipal authorities and partner agencies.

He said all members who will be taking part in the operation underwent an intensive induction prior to their deployment, particularly on the conduct, roles and rules of engagement during the execution of their duties.

“Therefore, I trust that they will do their utmost best to serve you with professionalism, diligence, care and conscious of your human rights.”

Ndeitunga also requested the public to desist from any acts that would constitute lawlessness, the undermining of authority, obstructing officers in the execution of their duties and lack of cooperation.

“As law-enforcers, we will not tolerate unruly situations or unbecoming behaviours. I am thus calling on all peace-loving and law-abiding citizens to cooperate and respect the authority, just as we will do everything in our power to serve you.”

He said a peaceful and stable environment will, inter alia, attract investors, boost the tourism industry and therefore contribute to the economic development of the country.

According to him, Namibia has only been successful in attracting foreign investment and tourists through maintaining an environment that is peaceful and conducive to such investment, and therefore the rule of law in the country should be upheld.