Young Men Open Case Against Police

A TWENTY-year old man and two teenagers from Otjomuise have opened a case against the Windhoek City Police alleging brutality, while the police have also opened a case of malicious damage to property against the trio.

Kevin Springbok (20) – alleged that the “brutality and torture” took place at a police complex opposite the Wanaheda Police Station on Saturday.

He further told The Namibian that the issue was sparked by a fight involving three other boys on Thursday over a cigarette. During the fight, the other three whose names were not given, jumped into a taxi while throwing empty bottles at Springbok and his friends.

One of the boys who was with Springbok then used pepper-spray on the boys in the taxi, including the driver who happened to be a Windhoek City police officer. The taxi took off without any further confrontation.

On Saturday, however, the police officer, accompanied by a colleague, came looking for the boys and found Springbok at their house.

Springbok said the officer told him that they were looking for him.

He, however, said he was confused because he could not remember doing anything wrong, except for a fight he knew his brother was involved in.

“They put me in the car and drove to their complex in Wanaheda. They started beating me, although I kept saying it was not me,” he narrated.

Springbok said they stopped and drove him back to his house to look for one of the teenage boys, whom they found at the Otjomuise Pub.

He said thereafter the officers took them back to the complex and began beating him and the boy.

“After this, he took us to the Wanaheda charge office to lock us up, but the station commander (Chief Inspector Josia Shikongo) refused to have us locked up since we were badly injured,” Springbok said.

He said they were taken to the hospital for X-rays, but the officers barred them from receiving their medical reports and returned them to the charge office.

Shikongo could not confirm whether he had given any instructions, and referred The Namibian to their public relations office where warrant officer Pendukeni Haikali only confirmed that a case was opened against Springbok for possessing cannabis, while the other two were charged for robbery and malicious damage to property.

However, no one could provide clear information on which property was destroyed by the accused.

Haikali said the officers did not leave their details and she could not confirm the beating.

City Police chief Abraham Kanime could neither confirm nor deny the incident either, requesting The Namibian to refer the complainants to him, so that he could get clear details.

“Although we do not tolerate police brutality, we have some clever people who can come up with allegations. For now, it is difficult for me to comment. Let them come to me and then we can take things form there,” Kanime said.

The three appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura on Monday where Springbok was fined N$300, while the teenagers were released into their parents’ care. The accused will return to court on 23 January 2015.

Qhayiso Amanda, a relative of the accused, confirmed that they have opened a case (number GB8534112014) against the police for brutality.

Amanda said she was not happy with how the police handled the whole case because they did not even contact the parents, who were informed by their neighbours of the arrest.

“They did not even inform the parents of what transpired, but they went on to brutalise them,” she said, adding that the family opened a case because they fear for their children’s lives as one may be beaten to death by the police.

Amanda said they would visit Kanime today.

Source : The Namibian