Four arrested during Red Flag commemoration

Four people were arrested on Sunday at Okahandja for malicious damage to property, assault through threatening and theft during the 96 anniversary commemoration of the late chief of Ovaherero people Samuel Maharero.

Head of Operation and Deputy Commissioner of Otjozondjupa Moses Khoirabeb confirmed to Nampa that, case number CR12/8/2019 was opened at Okahandja police station by Chief TjinaaniMaharero and his people from OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House against people from Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) after an attack on Thursday.

Khoirabeb said the group is being charged for various cases ranging from assault with intention to do bodily grievous harm and they will appear in the Okahandja magistrate court on Tuesday.

He added that before the event, police called for a meeting to brief leaders from both side to refrain from violence but the OTA group walked out of the meeting while some did not pitch, accusing the police of taking side.

It is alleged that members of the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House attempted to lite the holy fire at the premises owned by OTA to commemorate the Red Flag Day in remembrance of the late Chief of Ovaherero people Samuel Maharero, but they were intercepted by members of OTA who attacked them, destroyed their flag and other properties.

When Nampa arrived at the scene, there was a standoff between the two groups who were gathering at the cemetery to pay homage to their fallen heroes, but OTA members were blocking the other group from proceeding to their ancestors graves which they supposed to visit first before proceed with the official ceremony as per traditional law, but the Namibian police intervened to separate the two groups.

Chief TjinaaniMaharero of OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House said, it is a pity that an event that supposed to bring people together and celebrate what t their forefathers fought for has become a battle field, dividing people.

This supposed to be a happy day for all of us, this day supposed to unite us and honour what our leaders fought for but we are fighting each other instead, said Maharero.

The OTA and the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House have held the Otjiserandu or Red Flag Day separately over the last few years due to disputes between them, OTA declined to comment.

Source: Namibia Press Agency