Late Ondonga king sued for strip-searching
22 May 2020 | Justice
The late omukwaniilwa of Ondonga, Immanuel Kauluma, is among 15 people cited in an almost N$4 million lawsuit by employees who claim they were strip-searched over a missing key.
It is alleged four employees were made to strip off their clothes and were subjected to cavity searches after they were accused of stealing the key to the community court cupboard drawer.
The strip-searches were allegedly performed by the Ondangwa police at the request of the traditional authority's former secretary, Nepando Amupanda, who is also named as a defendant in the case.
In a combined summons issued by the Windhoek High Court dated 26 June 2018, the employees are demanding N$975 000 each, while claiming they suffered a deliberately offensive act and were maliciously deprived of their rights.
On 22 March 2018, Amupanda “ordered his agents to seize the plaintiffs” and detained them at the community court hall, the summons reads.
They further claimed that a certain Sergeant Haindongo was accompanied by several unidentified police officers, and under his command, they were made to strip and were subjected to body cavity searches while Amupanda looked on.
Each plaintiff is demanding N$275 000 for the deprivation of personal liberty, N$350 000 for pain and suffering and N$350 000 for having suffered a deliberately offensive act.
Long list of defendants
Among the defendants in the matter are Amupanda, the late Kauluma, Erastus Mvula, Paavo Amwele, Reinhold Nepolo, Konis Kalenga, Ester Gwashamba Nepando, Naeman Amalwa, Frans Shidhudhu, Sergeant Haindongo, senior member of the Ondonga royal family Selma Gwanandjokwe Shejavali, Naeman Fillemon and Johannes Eino Shondili Amutenya, who were in charge of the traditional authority at the time of the incident.
High Court Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula is set to preside.
On Monday at the Oshakati High Court, Angula postponed the matter to 29 June for the applicants to obtain legal representation.
While the four employees were assisted by the National Society for Human Rights of Namibia (Namrights), its executive director Phil Ya Nangoloh confirmed to Namibian Sun they will now have to look for legal representation because he is not admitted to represent clients in Namibian courts.
The defendants, through their lawyer John Kandara, have indicated that they are ready to defend the matter.