The Namibian police have dismissed 56 members from the force, while 41 others are currently on suspension pending the finalisation of their cases in the courts for various offences, including assault of members of the public. Police chief Sebastain Ndeitunga yesterday told journalists the force does not tolerate abuse and assault of members of the public by law enforcement officers.
Ndeitunga explained that a total of 116 cases were registered against members of the police, leading to the suspension and dismissals.
“The notion or view that the inspector general of the police just watches and does nothing to these officers is nonsensical and, therefore, is hereby refuted in the strongest terms. All cases registered against police officers are investigated,” he stressed.
“Please help us educate and make the Namibian nation understand that police officers are at no point encouraged to brutalise the public.”
According to Ndeitunga, it would be very wrong for them to condone such acts of violence because it would constitute a violation of the constitution, the laws of the country and the police code of ethics.
“Be that as it may, cases of assault against police officers continue to be reported. Some of them are genuine, while some are mere allegations against police officers. I want the public to note, however, that police officers sometimes deal with highly intoxicated, unruly and uncooperative people, who, without provocation, insult and even assault the officers on duty,” he added.
Ndeitunga related an event that occurred recently at Mondesa in Swakopmund where some police officers were threatened by two brothers when they went to effect an arrest.
“One of the brothers interfered with the officers and seriously hacked one of the officers in the head with an axe,” he said.
He added that it was only through proper investigation of cases that the truth could be established and decisive action taken against guilty members of the force.
“It should also be understood that, once an investigation, in any case, has been completed, a docket is sent to the prosecutor general for a decision on whether to prosecute or not. Only once the prosecutor general has made a decision to prosecute, will the particular matter be taken through the court process.”
Ndeitunga maintained the force has no control over what transpires at courts and in an event where the prosecutor general declines to prosecute, there is still an internal disciplinary procedure, in terms of Regulation 15 of the police regulations, published in conformity with the provisions of the Police Act, 1990 (Act No. 19 of 1990, as amended).
“We wish, therefore, to put it on record that, in all the cases reported to the police, the police instituted either disciplinary hearings or conducted criminal investigations, to determine the veracity of the involvement of the members. Where necessary, other investigative organs of the State, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, do also participate in the investigations,” he explained.
2020-09-11 09:51:08 | 15 days ago