Man Loses Fingertips to Alleged Police Brutality

A 22-year-old Luumlderitz resident lost two fingertips after a policeman at the town’s police station allegedly slammed a door on his hand.

The victim, Kondjashili Ruben told New Era from his hospital bed in the town that he lost his two fingertips on his left hand at the Luumlderitz Police Station on the night of May 29, 2015.

Narrating his ordeal, Ruben said he was in the company of his drinking buddy and had a couple of drinks at one of the watering holes in town. While they were inside the shebeen one of the patrons accused Ruben of having taken his beer and a bare-knuckled barroom brawl ensued.

Ruben said he disengaged and decided to go to the police station to report that someone was fighting with him over a missing beer. On his way with his friend they saw a police car and Ruben stopped the car to report to the three male police officers inside the vehicle what had transpired and that he needed assistance and protection.

He asked the policemen, he says, if he could be taken to the police station so that he could open a case of assault against the patron who had accused him of theft of his beer.

According to Ruben, the three police officers took him and his friend to the police station at around 22h00, but for no apparent reason the three officers started beating him after accusing him of being unruly and showing bad manners.

Ruben said that after they beat him in front of his friend and other police officers who were on duty the three policemen took him to another room where they pushed him around and as they closed the door his hand was caught between the door frame and the door proper, which severed the fingertips on his left hand that he uses for writing as he is left-handed.

Ruben’s mother Joolokeni Nghipunduka said she rushed to the police station after she received a call from Ruben that he was incarcerated at the police station and that he had lost two fingertips.

Nghipunduka explained that when she arrived at the police station she asked if she could take her son to hospital because of the seriousness of his injuries. But, she says, initially the police on duty claimed her son was indeed in the police cells but that he did not have any injuries. So she went back home.

But Ruben reportedly could not sleep because of the excruciating pain and he was shivering from the cold because he had taken off his T-shirt to stem the blood that was oozing from his wounds.

On the morning of Saturday May 30 2015 the police took Ruben to the Luumlderitz State Hospital for treatment, where at the time of writing he was still hospitalised.

When approached for comment Chief Inspector Paulus Hamupolo said he heard about the story only after Ruben’s mother visited his office on Monday June 1 to complain about the police brutality and the injuries to her son.

Chief Inspector Hamupolo said he could not comment as investigations were underway.

Source : New Era