Civilian accuses NDF of assault

Following his arrest, an Okuryangava resident has laid charges of assault against the police.

14 June 2019 | Police

A Windhoek civilian who was arrested on assault and obstruction charges in mid-May alleges the charges stem from an assault in which he was beaten and kicked by soldiers while handcuffed and stuck in the back of a Namibian Defence Force van.

Okuryangava resident Jason Kauhondamwa (29) told Namibian Sun he became embroiled in the “very scary” situation after a soldier on 16 May at 10:00 in the morning saw him crossing Monte Christo Road and allegedly called him over, demanding to search his backpack.

His backpack contained a prepaid water card, two pairs of socks and a newspaper, he told Namibian Sun.

He claims the situation escalated quickly, after he was accused by the soldier of being rude and insulting.

He claims after he was bundled into a Namibian Defence Force (NDF) van a short time later, they told him they were disciplining him and that unlike “the police, they want to make sure that when I see them, I must be afraid”.

Kauhondamwa made it clear he doesn't think “all the police and soldiers are the same” and that he was treated well during previous stop-and-searches.

Nevertheless, he says he no longer feels safe when he sees soldiers.

He was eventually arrested later that day and charged with a count of common assault and another count of obstructing a police officer executing his duties. He spent five nights behind bars before being released on N$2 000 bail five days later.

Subsequently Kauhondamwa opened a case with the Wanaheda police, accusing the group of soldiers of beating and kicking him that day.

“I want them to investigate. It wasn't fair. Those people, the soldiers, they are bullying people. It is not professional.”

A police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi, confirmed that a case had been opened by Kauhondamwa. She said a case of assault GBH was being investigated but no arrests had been made. Kauhondamwa told Namibian Sun he decided to go public because “when you speak out, there will be change”.



Unexpected

His says on the day in question, 16 May, the soldier who demanded to search his backpack questioned his attitude and instructed him to walk with him to the van, where more soldiers were waiting.

He claimed verbal insults were exchanged, and admitted that after the soldier swore at him he swore back.

Eventually he claims he was handcuffed and instructed to get into the back of an NDF van. He further claims he was then assaulted by several soldiers. He alleges they told him they were “disciplining” him.

“They said they want to make sure when I see them, I must be afraid.”

He was eventually arrested after he was taken to the Wanaheda police station. He further claims that while he was injured, he was not provided with medical care while in jail and that he bears scars from the assault, on his wrists and his torso.

The case opened against him was postponed to 17 September. Kauhondamwa says he will represent himself. “There is no need for a lawyer. I just need to tell the truth.”



Change needed

He says he hopes others who have experienced similar incidents with law enforcement and the defence force “will get the courage to speak out. I hope members of the community stand together, so we can speak to our leaders, and they can speak to the big bosses”.

In the aftermath of the incident, an elderly family member warned him that if he is ever approached by soldiers or police officers again, he “should just show respect”.

Friends agree with him however that assaults on civilians “should not happen. These people are disturbing the peace. We are on the streets and when we see them, we are afraid”.

He further claims that he had tried several times to open a case before succeeding. At first, he claims he was warned by a police officer that opening a case against an NDF soldier was likely “to go nowhere”.

He claims he was also told that he could not accuse the soldiers of a crime he himself had already been accused of by them.

He did eventually succeed to obtain a case number on 4 June, after writing down his version and providing the police with his notes.

“I told them I was beaten. I told them the whole story of what happened.” Following a spate of accusations of assault on civilians by members of the police and NDF of unwarranted assault, several organisations condemned the “indiscriminate assaults”.

The joint police and NDF operation code-named Hornkranz was promptly replaced with Operation Kalahari Desert.

At the start of June, the Khomas regional commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, said crime had dropped in the central region as a result of Operation Kalahari Desert, which was launched mid-May.





JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Ahowe otashi ti ahowe

12 hours ago | Police And Crime

Sebastian Ndeitunga okwa popi kutya ahowe osha hala okutya ahowe na kape na we efatululo limwe li lipo.Ndeitunga okwa popi ngaaka pethimbo kwa patululwa pambelewa...

Cops probe deaths

1 week ago - 04 September 2019 | Police

The Namibian police are investigating the deaths of 18 people who died in less than a week.Of these, 15 people died in road accidents, two...

Oshiwike oshiwinayi

1 week ago - 04 September 2019 | Police And Crime

Opolisi yaNamibia otayi konaakona iipotha yi na sha neso lyaantu 18 mboka ya hulitha muule woshiwike shimwe, mwakwatelwa aantu 15 mboka ya hulithile miiponga yiihauto,...

Anti-crime operation starts at Rundu

3 weeks ago - 20 August 2019 | Police

The acting police commander for Kavango East, Commissioner Vilho Kalwenya, has issued a stern warning to community members who are in cahoots with criminals, saying...

'Operation Kalahari Desert' ya tulwa miilonga moRundu

3 weeks ago - 20 August 2019 | Police

Ngoka ta longo pehala lyaKomanda gwOpolisi moshitopolwa shaKavango East, Komufala Vilho Kalwenya okwa popi kutya kape na ehala lyiimbuluma moshitopolwa shoka na okwa gandja ekunkililo...

Man shot over frying pan

4 weeks ago - 19 August 2019 | Police

Two attempted murder cases were opened during the second phase of Operation Kalahari Desert over the weekend in the Erongo Region, with one involving a...

Training on crime scene management relevant

2 months ago - 04 July 2019 | Police

Due to the transient and fragile nature of crime investigation, the reliability and preservation of its physical integrity depends largely on initial actions at the...

Swakopmund teen hangs herself

2 months ago - 02 July 2019 | Police

The Swakopmund community is reeling in shock after a grade 11 Namib High School learner committed suicide on the Swakopmund Primary School playground.Her body was...

Kalahari halted… for now

2 months ago - 26 June 2019 | Police

The Peoples Litigation Centre (PLC) is set to approach the Windhoek High Court next week if their demand that soldiers be withdrawn from Operation Kalahari...

Cops nab 176 for drug possession in May

3 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Police

The Namibian police arrested 176 suspects in connection with the possession of illicit drugs worth N$1.1 million in May 2019 in all the regions of...

Latest News

Ndafoluma geared for WBO title

12 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA Namibian boxer Lukas 'The Demolisher' Ndafoluma says he is ready to tame Russia's Apti 'The Tiger' Ustarkhanov in...

Deadly weekend

12 hours ago | Accidents

The deaths of at least 23 people in five car crashes on Friday and Saturday has highlighted Namibia's unresolved road accident epidemic and cast a...

Kamushinda fights on

12 hours ago | Banking

Enoch Kamushinda, described as the mastermind behind the heist at the SME Bank, is continuing his dogged battle to stop the bank's “closure”.In his latest...

Death on wheels

12 hours ago | Opinion

What does one say after such a shocking weekend on our country’s roads that has not been said before?Many have spoken and written about attitudes...

Cold comfort

12 hours ago | Sports

Tokyo 2020 organisers blasted volunteers with fake snow on Friday as they trial ever more extreme ways to beat the heat ahead of the Games.'But...

Good luck, Namibia

12 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA We have only four days to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan. I wish...

McCarthy slams Cape Town City...

12 hours ago | Sports

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy pulled no punches when discussing his team's performance after the 3-3 draw with SuperSport United at the Mbombela Stadium...

Swiss coach celebrates birthday with...

12 hours ago | Sports

Swiss coach Rene Weiler celebrated his 46th birthday on Saturday by debuting as Al Ahly of Egypt coach with a 2-0 win at Cano Sport...

Unam proud of World Cup-bound...

12 hours ago | Sports

The University of Namibia (Unam) Rugby Club has expressed pride that seven of its players were included in the 31-man senior national rugby team that...

Load More