Court Acquits ‘Struggle Kids’

There was joy at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on Friday when the 181 ‘struggle kids’ who faced charges of loitering, littering and contempt of court were acquitted by magistrate Ivan Gawanab.

The ‘struggle kids’ were acquitted on the charges of loitering and littering, but found guilty on the charge of contempt of court and received a warning. Extra police officers had to be called in after the group mobbed the cash hall to get their bail monies. New Era learned that cash hall employees did not anticipate the matter to be finalised on Friday and were therefore unable to refund everyone on Friday.

Most of the unemployed ‘struggle kids’ had paid bail of N$50. A prosecutor commented that although the ‘struggle kids’ were over the moon, they still have criminal records. Only three out of the 181 ‘struggle kids’ could afford to post bail, which was initially N$500 before it was reduced to N$200 and finally to N$50. The matter had been dragging in court since last year April and the bail amount was reduced with the help of the Ombudsman, Aocate John Walters, who also secured a lawyer for them.

The ‘struggle kids’ were arrested in April last year after they defied a court order barring them from camping at the corner of Leonard Auala and Hans-Dietrich Genscher streets in Katutura next to the Swapo Party head office. The order also stated that they may not unlawfully occupy any property belonging to the City of Windhoek. Hans Thourob represented the state, while lawyer Titus Ipumbu represented the ‘struggle kids’.

Source : New Era