NINE members of the group of Congolese refugees, that fled to Namibia after a recent spate xenophobic attacks in South Africa, sustained serious of injuries during a motor vehicle accident while on their way to being deported.
The nine men were being transported from the Dordabis Police Station to the Hosea Kutako International Airport in the back of a prisoner van belonging to the Ministry of Finance. The vehicle was driven by a female immigration official who lost control over the vehicle in a sharp bend in the road. The van left the road and crashed through bushes and into a tree in a dry river bed.
According to one of the first responders who attended to the injured refugees on the accident scene the nine men was flung from the van and were laying in the riverbed. They suffered deep cuts and even broken limbs and all had to be taken to the Katutura State Hospital for intensive medical care.
“The wives and children of the men were transported in a minibus behind the prisoner van and did not suffer the same fate. They women and children were shouting and crying because they thought that their fathers and husbands were dead.”
The Namibian Government has turned the immigrants, who fled South Africa during November, away because they are not recognised as asylum seekers.
Of the 66 refugees that came to Namibia 11 had already been deported to South Africa.
The majority of the refugees that fled to Namibia last month, are Congolese and Angolan nationals who have South African-issued asylum permits.
The foreign nationals were illegally in the country because they did not go through legal procedures to seek asylum status.