OMUTHIYA – A case of assault has been opened against police officers and two members of a neighbourhood watch for allegedly assaulting a man at Tsumeb recently.
The incident happened on 30 October when Petrus Alfeus was approached by two members of a neighbourhood watch and police officers, whom he claimed assaulted him after he refused to hand over a cell phone.
Alfeus was allegedly mistaken for one of the suspects involved in an armed robbery of over N$800 000 at Tsumeb.
Six suspects reportedly robbed a local company after shooting at a cash-in-transit vehicle and held security guards at gunpoint.
The pistol, cash and two vehicles used in the robbery were recovered and impounded, while two suspects were arrested the same day and others days later.
Their case was postponed to 14 December.
Tsumeb station commander Chief Inspector Sisco Kotze confirmed an assault case was opened at the local police station.
He said the matter was still under investigation.
“The man came to my office and was assisted with opening a case, which is being investigated internally,” said Kotze.
In a video shared by CLTV online on Wednesday, Alfeus was heard saying: “While I was parked under a tree at Otavi-Tsumeb-Grootfontein crossroads, I saw two white men approaching the car and demanded my phone without explanation. I demanded knowing who they are but insisted; when I lowered the window, one of them grabbed the phone while the other opened the door, held me by the neck, then hit me on the ground.”
“After that, he placed a knee of my neck and started hitting me, then later I saw a police officer in uniform approaching. I tried to ask what happened but none of them was willing to talk but insisted I unlock the phone and show them the SMS inbox and call log – which I then did but then after, they went quiet.”
At the time, Alfeus said, he was not aware there was a robbery and was only alerted by a certain police inspector.
“I tried to seek an apology thereafter, but none of them was willing to offer. Therefore, I was humiliated and degraded. Many people took pictures of me, thinking I am the thief. This had great trauma on me, as I received numerous calls from families and people asking if I was involved in a robbery,” Alfeus narrated.