Roland Routh WINDHOEK – Within the Namibian police are officers serving in the detective unit, the unit that investigates crimes, but who have failed their investigation courses. “How do you still find a detective who has failed his detective course investigating serious crimes,” asked the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, when he made the big revelation on Friday at Wanaheda police station. He also said that he has received numerous complaints from the Office of the Prosecutor General because of investigations botched up by non-skilled police investigators, coupled with sloppy work and lengthy periods it takes officers to investigate crimes. As a result of a combination of those factors the police now have 176,709 pending dockets or investigations countrywide with Khomas Region alone contributing 56 percent or 98,264 to the total number of outstanding cases. He said the complaints from the prosecutors are that when a prosecutor sends a docket back to an investigator with further instructions, it would take an investigator a long time to complete these instructions and sometimes they fail to comply with the instructions, leaving a magistrate with no other option to strike the matter from the roll, albeit provisionally, Ndeitunga revealed on Friday. Ndeitunga was addressing about 150 senior and junior officers at the Wanaheda police station to address challenges they face in their daily duties. Also in attendance at the gathering were members of the judiciary and the Office of the Prosecutor General. Ndeitunga also touched on the issue of investigators not bringing dockets to court on time for prosecutors to familiarise themselves with the facts of the case before going to court. He asked that there should be proper consultation between an investigator and prosecutor to ensure that investigations are completed properly and timeously. Ndeitunga further said he is disappointed by the too regular occurrence of dockets going missing, either at the prosecutor’s office or at the investigator’s office. In many instances, he said, the docket is lying in the locked office of the investigator who is out on another case while such investigator did not make arrangements with the prosecutor. “If you know a case you are working on is due in court, make arrangements with the prosecutor well in advance to advise them on the progress you have made in your investigations,” he told the assembled detectives. According to him, he has been lenient for far too long and will henceforth bring down the hammer on lax, uncooperative and rude officers. “How do you refuse to help the person you were put there to help?” Ndeitunga asked. He told the officers that every person in Namibia is their client. He also wanted to know why they are reluctant to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) complaints when GBV involves fellow officers. “Nine cases of GBV incidents were reported only last week,” he said and asked the gathering if the members need counselling, which resulted in a thunderous yes from the officers, Ndeitunga also touched on the subject of police officers making fun of men who want to open GBV cases, saying it’s not a laughing matter as men can also be victims of GBV. State Advocate Dominic Lisulo, who was also present, asked that investigators comply with the principles of the Constitution. “It does not help if you take shortcuts. If you do not follow the guidelines set down by a prosecutor, such prosecutor will encounter serious problems in the trial. A successful prosecution depends on the interaction between the prosecutor and the investigator. It’s a collective responsibility,” Lisulo advised.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-06 09:24:12 6 months ago