A man serving a prison sentence of 40 years for murder is suing the safety and security ministry for N$1.8 million for assault and sexual assault.
Joseph Gerson Gariseb claims he was physically assaulted and sexually violated by correctional officers while being transported from the Windhoek Correctional Facility to the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility in the Oshikoto region.
In his particulars of claim, Gariseb narrated how he was left with pain and bruises on 28 January 2020. He explained that while being transported from Windhoek to the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility – where he is to serve his sentence - they stopped at the Otjiwarongo police station.
While he and his fellow inmates were attempting to get back into the vehicle, they realised the vehicle was full to capacity. They informed the officer, who did not respond. He, however, pulled Gariseb, handcuffed him and dragged him to the holding cells. The officer was allegedly assisted by three police officers and four members of the Namibian Defence Force.
Upon arrival at the holding cells, the officers started to beat and kick Gariseb all over his body.
“The abovementioned process continued for some time, and the respondents pulled the plaintiff’s (Gariseb) trousers down and searched his rectum using a pen while at the same time shouting at the plaintiff to shit,” stated Gariseb.
After he relieved himself on the request of the officers, they searched his faeces with a pen. The officers did not find anything in his stools, whereupon the assault allegedly ceased. Gariseb claims he was only taken to hospital on 11 February 2020. During the 11 days that he was deprived of medical attention, he allegedly suffered from pain.
He is claiming N$1.5 million for being searched in the rectum with a pen, as it constitutes torture and rape. An amount of N$300 000 is claimed for emotional stress and the post-traumatic disorder he has suffered.
Gariseb and his uncle, Esegiel Gariseb, were convicted of murder for the death of Uwe Kupetzky. During the night of 12 to 13 May 2002, the duo robbed Kupetzky at his home at Oamites, situated between Windhoek and Rehoboth. They assaulted and tortured him over a matter of hours before he finally died of a head injury.
In 2016, Gariseb tried to appeal his conviction, but failed.
His suit is currently before judge Eileen Rakow, and is scheduled for case planning on 21 September.