RUNDU – Three Namibian men who were arrested by the Angolan authorities last year have been released from custody and are set to be deported.
“I met with them, they are being accommodated at the immigration offices where they are arranging for them to be deported, they don’t have papers for them to move on their own.
I think they have been released due to a lack of evidence and we are now trying to organise the transport to send them back to Namibia,” said the Namibian consul general in Angola’s Menongue, Lucky Gawanab, who also implored locals living along Okavango River to respect the borders in place. Gawanab pleaded with Namibians to desist from crossing the river to the other side of Angola without permits or following the legal route.
Gawanab, who is responsible for Cuando Cubango, Huambo, Bie and Moxico provinces, made the remarks when New Era followed up on a case of three Namibians who were being held under police custody in Menongue since 13 November last year for illegally cutting grass in the neighbouring country.
The three men were, however, charged with arson by the Angolan authorities. Their names were reportedly on a list of wanted people suspected of having burned a hut belonging to a local headman in Angola.
“Borders must be respected, especially for those that live along the Okavango River. They must know that although they have families on both sides, they should know that these are two different countries with different laws,” he said.
“You just can’t cross the river to go and cut grass without a permit and don’t go and hunt on the side of Angola or visit family on the other side without proper documents or permits.” Regarding other cases also involving Namibians, Gawanab said a woman who was accused of killing her child at Calai village in Angola was also released.
“She was released on Monday but not sure on what grounds. I haven’t met up with her. She allegedly committed the crime at Calai and she was brought to Menongue where she was under police custody for months,” he said.
Another Namibian who was also arrested in Angola has been released, according to Gawanab.
The man who owns a campsite at Shamvura, was arrested for trespassing. His boat, camera and gun were seized by the authorities.