Ndeitunga flaunts Kalahari successes

20 June 2019 | Crime

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has flaunted the successes of Operation Kalahari Desert, saying 871 suspects have been arrested including for murder, attempted murder, rape, serious assault and drug dealing.

The operation has come under fire following the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Zimbabwean taxi driver Talent Fambauone Black last week.

Ndeitunga said 1 747 summonses to the value of N$1.8 million have so far been issued during the operation that was launched on 11 May.

According to the police chief 965 dangerous weapons such as knives, screwdrivers, machetes and spears were also confiscated, as well as two shotguns and 32 pistols.

“These guns if they were not seized could have been used to take innocent lives and rob people and their businesses,” Ndeitunga said.

Illicit drugs worth N$281 495 that include mainly cannabis, mandrax and cocaine were confiscated.

“These are narcotic drugs that are destroying the future of our youth. On many occasions, criminals consume these drugs to rid themselves of fear and go and commit crimes against innocent people,” said Ndeitunga.

Furthermore, 39 livestock to the value of N$113 600 were recovered during the operation.

Ndeitunga, who was speaking at an Operation Kalahari Desert parade in Windhoek yesterday, said Namibians are not enjoying the same peace of mind anymore, with all sorts of horrendous crimes being committed on a daily basis.

According to Ndeitunga it was for this reason that he requested security stakeholders such as the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) and the City Police to assist Nampol in jointly conducting a nationwide crime-prevention operation.

In November last year Operation Hornkranz was launched with the same purpose, which was later replaced by Operation Kalahari Desert.

He stressed that these operations are making a substantial difference on the crime rate, when compared to crime statistics before the launch of Operation Hornkranz. According to Ndeitunga 8 947 cases were reported in August last year, 8 656 in September, 8 927 in October and 8 455 in November, before the start of Operation Hornkranz. Ndeitunga said although December saw 8 560 cases being recorded, the statistics for January and February this year indicate a notable reduction to

8 046 and 8 039, respectively.

In March, when there was a break in Operation Hornkranz, an upward trend was recorded of 8 787 cases. Ndeitunga said with the resumption of the operation in April, the number of cases dropped to 8 186, which demonstrates the impact.

“As in any country where defence and law-enforcement agencies decide to work together to suppress crime, the police always take the lead.”

According to him the NDF, correctional services, immigration, customs and all other stakeholders are therefore there as backup and to provide expertise where the need arises.

“I have noted the concerns raised by some organisations and from various quarters, who are calling for the withdrawal of the NDF from law-enforcement operations,” Ndeitunga added.

Ndeitunga emphasised that the participation of these stakeholders is provided for in the Defence Act and its regulations.

“While so deployed the defence force may be used for those functions mentioned in section 13 of the Police Act, 1990, which simply means they assume police functions.”

Referring to Black's death, he said one life lost at the hands of law-enforcement is one too many.

“I am therefore directing this police-led operation to obey the instructions of your commanders and to adhere to the set of rules of engagement,” Ndeitunga said.

He said no member is allowed to use a firearm without being commanded by their commander and that the police should take a leading role during the operation, unless otherwise directed by the operation commander.

“No member should apply force against any person during the operation, save where minimum force is to be applied, particularly during the arresting of resisting suspects, or else actions should be taken against culprits,” Ndeitunga added.