Prisoner Begs to Go Home

A SOUTH African citizen, who was arrested in 2013 for alleged human trafficking, is still imprisoned a month after his case was withdrawn.

The 42-year-old Abraham Tadedde Belay, who is originally from Ethiopia, was arrested and charged, alongside 27-year old Mohamednoor Hussein Ibrahim, with contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for alleged smuggling of immigrants from South Africa through Namibia to Germany.

It was alleged that they were paid N$180 000.

The case was withdrawn last month. According to Belay, at the time that the case was withdrawn he could not go back home to South Africa where he lives as his passport had expired but co-accused Ibrahim had managed to go back to Kenya as his documents were in order. Speaking from the holding cells at Windhoek Central police station, Belay said he had requested the South African high commission in Namibia, along with the immigration office of Namibia, to renew his passport thus allowing him to go back home to South Africa, but this has yet to be done.

Home affairs spokesperson Salome Kambala said she cannot comment on the issue and referred questions to the SA high commission.

An official at the high commission said they were waiting for immigration in Pretoria to establish whether Belay is indeed a South African citizen.

Belay said he has a school-going child but that his boy is out of school now as he has no one to look after him. “I need to go back. I have a shop to run and family to take care of. Please, why must I be kept here in this prison while my case has been withdrawn?” pleaded Belay. He allegedly got South African citizenship in 2008, resides in Cape Town and runs a business in Johannesburg.

Source : The Namibian