Peers Have Lost a Leader

FRIEDA Ndatipo’s fatal shooting by the police has brought back sad memories. It is the second time someone in the family has been shot and killed by the police.

“But how do you shoot somebody who is running away and who is posing no threat to you? I really don’t understand this. Someone must explain this to me. These children are campaigning for their rights. Their parents died for this country. What makes it more painful is they went to the Swapo head office to sing and demonstrate for Heroes’ Day,” Ndatipo’s uncle Jerobiam Haimbodi said in reaction to news of her death.

The Namibian spoke to Haimbodi as family members visited Ndatipo’s shack in Windhoek’s Okahandja Park informal settlement where they had gone to collect her belongings.

In 2007 Haimbodi’s son was also shot at Okongo by the police.

“Losing her in the same way brings a lot of hurtful memories. We want an explanation from the police chief,” he said.

He however did not provide details about the first shooting incident.

Ndatipo was allegedly hit in the rib-case by a bullet while trying to help a peer who had been blinded by tear gas as they fled from the police. Paramedics unsuccessfully tried to revive her.

Ndatipo was born in exile in Lubango, Angola. Both her parents took part in the liberation struggle and died during the war.

According to a family member, Ndatipo’s mother, Lahja Paulus Sevelus Shalikoshi, died in 2002 but the relative could not say much about her father.

Ndatipo is survived by three children and three siblings.

Coming from a small village called Olukula, east of Okongo, in the Ohangwena region, Ndatipo is described as a helpful leader by her peers. She was also a committee member of the body representing the “struggle kids”.

A distraught Rabana Andjamba, one of the last people Ndatipo spoke to after she was shot, told The Namibian she is very disappointed and feels let-down by the government.

“She helped me when I fell down because I had been blinded by the tear gas, and the next thing she told me was that she was hit by a bullet. She fell and I guess there is where she died because I kept on running as I feared for my life,” Andjamba said.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Haimbodi said Swapo leaders should be careful with their statements regarding the death of his niece because no one is prohibited from going to the party offices.

Source : The Namibian