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Correctional officers deny assault on murder convict

2021-05-26  Maria Amakali

Correctional officers deny assault on murder convict
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Correctional officers who are being sued by a man convicted of murdering his girlfriend by stabbing and nearly decapitating her in Oshakati, have denied assaulting him. 

Ananias Ekongo Nailenge (30) is claiming N$700 000 in damages for allegedly being assaulted by seven correctional service officers while he was a trial-awaiting inmate at the Oluno Correctional Facility.

However, the seven correctional officers deny assaulting him, but have admitted to using minimum force to retrain him.

“The plaintiff was not assaulted as alleged, but minimum force was used in the circumstances to restrain the plaintiff, who was aggressive,” stated the officers. 

According to their plea, Nailenge was aggressive by way of punching and kicking at them, and was not co-operative. They thus had to use minimum force on him. 

The officers furthermore indicate that any injuries sustained by Nailenge were self-inflicted, and have asked him to prove all allegations he has levelled against them.

In reference to Nailenge’s particulars of claim filed in the High Court, he said the correctional officers were conducting a search on 5 July 2017. When they reached his cell, they instructed him to undress, an instruction which he refused. 

He narrated that the officers then started assaulting him when he refused to undress. 

“I was seriously assaulted, and I was swollen to the extent that I could not even walk or stand on my own,” stated Nailenge. 

After the alleged assault, he claims he was not taken to the hospital for medical attention. He lost his dignity at the hands of the officers, who had no right to assault him, and is thus entitled to claim damages. 

He has since also opened a criminal case against the officers, and they have been charged with a count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. 

Nailenge’s suit hearing has been postponed to 7 June for a special plea before judge Herman Oosthuizen.

He is currently serving a 35-year-jail term after he was convicted last year for murdering his girlfriend Mirjam Nandjato, who died on 4 February 2014. 

Nandjato’s lifeless body was found at Nailenge’s flat in Oshakati West, with a stab wound to her abdomen, and her throat slit, with her head connected to her body only by a piece of skin. 

During the trial, his uncle testified that Nailenge called him to tell him he had killed his girlfriend. The accused’s flatmate allegedly also received a similar call from Nailenge on the date in question.  

His uncle eventually notified the police, and they all met at the grisly scene.  Nailenge’s uncle further testified that he visited him at the police station after his arrest. During his visit, Nailenge fully confessed to the murder. 

During his section 119 plea in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court, he admitted guilt. Nailenge confessed to killing Nandjato by beheading her after a quarrel over a baby he fathered with another woman. It was his testimony that he first stabbed Nandjato in the chest with a knife, before slitting her throat. After the heinous crime, Nailenge fled the scene with the victim’s cellular phone, but was arrested in Epoko village.

2021-05-26  Maria Amakali

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