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Mother sues over son’s death

2021-08-03  Maria Amakali

Mother sues over son’s death

A mother of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by a police officer over love rivalry is seeking monetary compensation for her son’s death.

Annaline Motonane is seeking a High Court order that would compel former police inspector Lazarus Awaseb, ministry of safety and security and inspector general of the Namibian Police to pay a total of N$1 million in damages for the death of her son Odilo Motonane. 

Odilo was killed on 22 March 2016 in the area of Gobabis. In 2019, Awaseb, who was the commander of the police’s Criminal Investigation Unit at Epako, Gobabis, was convicted and sentenced to 36-years imprisonment for Odilo’s death.

The court concluded that Awaseb had direct intent to kill Odilo when he fired at him at close range, and then shot him a second time from a greater distance. Odilo was shot twice in the back. The court found that Awaseb tried to kill his girlfriend, Mildred Haoses, as well during the same incident in which Odilo lost his life, by shooting at her and wounding her in the thigh.

The shooting took place after Awaseb had gone to Haoses’ house during the early morning hours and found Odilo in the house. Awaseb unsuccessfully tried to end his own life by shooting himself in the chest.

In her suit, Motonane is claiming Awaseb used a pistol provided to him by the ministry of safety and security and inspector general of the Namibian Police and killed her son while on duty.

She is seeking an amount of N$100 000 for emotional shock as she and her son shared an incredibly close relationship. She says the passing of her son has left her emotionally shattered.

“The plaintiff (Motonane) sustained emotional trauma that no reasonable person would be expected to endure which was caused by the wrongful actions of the defendant (Awaseb),” reads the particular of claims filed before the court.

Motonane is also seeking payment in the amount of N$860 000 for the contribution Odilo would have made to the family and his nearly four-year-old daughter. Motonane is further claiming N$40 000 for the burial and funeral logistics. 

Awaseb has indicated that he will be opposing the application. In his plea, Awaseb denies that he in any way pursued the Motonane’s son to shoot him or even knew of his presence at the time he had embarked on going to see his girlfriend at the relevant time, but that he was criminally found in a circumstance where a fight broke out between them, and the deceased was accidentally shot.

He further indicates that he made a contribution of N$5 000 towards Odilo funeral cost. 

The ministry of safety and security and inspector general of the Namibian Police said although Awaseb was in possession of and used the police firearm, he unlawfully acted outside the Namibian Police’s procedures.

They deny that Awaseb shot and killed Odilo in the course and scope of his employment. 

The matter is ongoing in the High Court before judge Marlene Tommasi for action floating roll hearing until 6 August.

2021-08-03  Maria Amakali

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