Alleged girlfriend-killer injured in custody
09 July 2021 | Justice
The lawyer of Edward Haiyambo has condemned what he termed police brutality to his client during a cell raid on Thursday at the Oshakati Police Station in the Oshana Region.
A police officer, who refused to be named, said a fight broke out between officers and inmates during a raid of the cells. The police officers allegedly found pangas and knives in the cells, leading to an altercation.
“They shot at the prisoners with rubber bullets,” he said.
Oshana police commissioner Rauha Amwele said she was aware of the incident but didn’t have enough details, referring this reporter to head of administration, deputy commissioner Nico Steenkamp, who echoed her sentiments exactly – he’d heard about it, but didn’t have details.
Haiyambo (31) stands accused of allegedly murdering his girlfriend - in full view of her four children, at the time aged 10, six, three and one – in 2019.
His legal aid directorate lawyer Pombili Shipila was appointed in 2020.
The accused’s case was withdrawn on 3 March 2021 to allow the State to make necessary arrangements for the matter to be transferred to Oshakati High Court, court records show.
Namibian Sun ran the story of his release, and Haiyambo was rearrested the same day - 9 June. He was set to appear in court the following day. This did not happen, according to Shipila, as the prosecution stalled his court appearance.
“Why was he arrested again? We wanted to determine if he should have been rearrested or just summoned like everyone else after their case has been withdrawn,” the lawyer questioned, adding that he is looking to hold the office of the Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa, to the rule of law.
Shipila said they have since 5 July questioned Haiyambo’s rearrest and his case was to be heard again in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court on 16 July, where it has been heard since his first appearance on 2 September 2019.
He said the prosecution called the police and asked that Haiyambo be brought to High Court on Thursday, despite having an outstanding appearance at the magistrate’s court next week.
“The matter was not properly brought to High Court so we raised an objection,” he said.
Yesterday, the High Court ruled that Haiyambo was not properly brought in and the case was struck off the court roll.
Disappointed in system
Shipila expressed disappointment at the justice system, saying he is unhappy with the way Oshakati police officers handled his client.
“He was brought in with injuries. He has two big open wounds in his forehead and an open wound at the back of his head. The court ruled that he receives medical attention at Oshakati State Hospital before being transported back to Oshakati police cells.”
The lawyer further expressed concern that police officers were behaving the same way the apartheid police did, 31 years later.
In addition to the murder case, Haiyambo has five outstanding cases, one of robbery with aggravating circumstances, indecent assault, assault by threat, escape from custody before he allegedly committed the murder and theft of a motor vehicle.