An elderly woman claimed she was last month brutally assaulted and offered N$600 for medical expenses by members of the Namibian police at Oneumba village in the Oshikoto region during a routine patrol to enforce Covid-19 lockdown regulations under stage two.
The incident happened on 14 May when the officers were tracing those allegedly selling home-brewed tombo and the complainant was allegedly beaten after she was found at a neighbour’s house. The neighbour had a bucket of tombo, although she was not present.
Sara Amupiya Erastus claims she was slapped twice, punched in the chest and whipped with mopane sticks all over her body resulting in a broken left arm and deep wounds as well, as the officers insisted she was selling tombo, after a fellow villager implicated her.
“On the said day, I was at my neighbour’s house where the officers with a list approached asking for the owner of the house who was not around at the time. There was a bucket of tombo in the house that they thought was mine and they slapped me twice. Then another villager shouted that I had tombo in my house and they dragged me and searched but they could not find anything. That is when one officer punched me in the chest, before proceeding to beat me with sticks I was using to thresh mahangu,” she said.
After the assault, she claimed police officers initially offered her N$600 to seek medical attention. She was further allegedly promised N$20 000 by two officers in an effort to silence her, as well not to take the case any further.
Two male officers stationed at Onayena police station who were in the company of a female police officer allegedly assaulted her. “They only stopped when they saw blood flowing from my arm and face. That is when they wanted to take me to the police station but later changed their mind. They did not issue me a fine either. I wanted to sue them but asked for forgiveness through my mom and they then offered to pay N$10 000 each to compensate for the harm caused, to which I agreed, even though I felt my rights were violated,” the victim said on Wednesday at Onandjokwe hospital after follow-up treatment.
Erastus could not provide the implicated officers’ names though she knows their physical appearance. She emphasised that the two police personnel resolved to compensate her N$10 000 each to drop the case. She, however, opened a case CR 03/06/2020 on 22 May at the Ondangwa police station, according to the report seen by this reporter.
Onayena station commander Warrant Officer Uusiku Magaeva denied knowledge of such incident involving his members.
Meanwhile, regional commander Commissioner Armas Shivute said such incidences cannot be tolerated and officers involved will be dealt with accordingly. Although he could not confirm this specific case, he said a docket was opened against police officers. “If it is registered in a different region, when it gets transferred it will be under a different CR, but that is the procedure as cases can be registered anywhere. But if it is true someone has been offered money and had her hand broken as a result of police assault, they will be answerable in court. For now we will have to investigate this matter,” assured Shivute.
2020-06-05 09:56:54 | 3 months ago