OMUTHIYA - Seven police officers who are accused of brutally assaulting two trial-awaiting inmates at Tsumeb were apprehended last week. They are due to appear in court today, police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said.
She did not rule out the possibility of a suspension, but said it was too early to say whether the suspects will be reprimanded because the matter is now before the courts.
The suspects were arrested between Thursday and Friday.
A report into the incident named eight officers as allegedly taking two inmates from the cells, driving with them towards the Tsumeb airport, and beating them in the bushes before returning them to the cells. The officers were detained at the Oshivelo police station after cases of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm were registered against them. They are accused of having assaulted the inmates who had initially overpowered them during a routine search last Monday.
A brawl allegedly ensued, and the inmates overpowered the police officers when they were searching for and confiscating contraband. It is alleged that the police found cannabis, cell phones as well as a bottle of whiskey in the holding cells.
It is further alleged that when the police wanted to confiscate the items, some inmates attacked them, leading the officers to flee and call for backup.
“I can confirm that the implicated police officers were arrested and charged. Investigations and proceedings will also guide us, while the inspector general will make a decision based on the findings,” explained Shikwambi.
In a video circulating on social media, bruises could be observed all over the bodies of the two victims, who are awaiting trial on housebreaking and gender-based violence-related incidents, as other inmates who sneaked in a smartphone bemoaned the assault.