Ndatipo Inquest Hearing to Start in July

THE hearing of testimony in the inquest into the death of ‘struggle kid’ Frieda Ndatipo is scheduled to start in the Windhoek High Court on 9 July.

Judge Christie Liebenberg announced the date for the start of the inquest hearing when more than 50 witnesses who have been subpoenaed to give evidence in the inquest attended a preparatory hearing before him yesterday.

Judge Liebenberg told the witnesses that evidence in the inquest is scheduled to be heard from 9 to 17 July. He also informed the witnesses that not all of them would ultimately have to give oral evidence at the hearing, since written statements that they have made have been provided to him and would be considered as part of the evidence in the inquest. The witnesses who will not be needed to give oral testimony will be informed of that on 9 July.

Ndatipo was fatally shot when a group of so-called children of the liberation struggle became involved in a confrontation with the police at the Swapo headquarters in Windhoek on 27 August last year. She was struck by a bullet and died at the scene when police officers trying to prevent the ‘struggle kids’ from gaining entrance to the ruling party’s head office fired off shots. The police later claimed that people in the group had provoked the confrontation by throwing stones at the police officers at the scene.

Ndatipo was 26 years old and the mother of three children.

Justice minister Albert Kawana announced last month that he had asked Judge President Petrus Damaseb to designate a judge to hold an inquest into Ndatipo’s death, after the prosecutor general decided not to prosecute anybody on the basis of the evidence that had been made available to her office.

Judge Liebenberg also explained to the subpoenaed witnesses yesterday that in terms of the Inquest Act the purpose of the inquest would be to establish four points, namely the identity of the deceased in the matter, the date she had died, the cause of her death, and whether anyone was legally responsible for unlawfully causing her death.

The witnesses were told to return to court on 9 July.

Source : The Namibian