Pictured: Dimbulukeni Nauyoma in the dock and supporters outside the court.
Affirmative Repositioning activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma has been granted bail in what is being dubbed as the most sensitive and exceedingly political case of recent times.
Nauyoma was taken into custody on Friday, 18 January, after he locked horns with members of the Windhoek City Police, over the demolishing of an illegal shack, belonging to Wilhelmina Shipangana, a marginalized woman who refused sex to her land lord in return for staying on his property.
The AR activist argued that police did not serve the required notice for the shack dweller to vacate, nor present her with a court order to evict the site. Nauyoma has been charged with the contravening of Article 21 of the Squatter Proclamation Act of 1985.
Submitting his case, state prosecutor, Pieter Smit argued that after extensive consultations with the Prosecutor General, the state does not have any objections to the accused being granted bail.
Smit set the bail to the amount of N$1 500 and informed the magistrate that bail could be granted on condition that the accused does not interfere with police investigations or interfere with Nampol or City policy when carrying out operations pertaining to municipal land. Smit further requested the court to order that the accused does not erect any more unlawful structures in terms of the proclamation on which he was charged and lastly does not participate in any further issues regarding municipal land.
Objecting these conditions, Nauyoma’s legal representative, Kadhila Amoomo, stated that his client is unemployed and cannot afford the bail set by state and requested the court that his client be released on warning.
He further objected against the four stringent conditions set by the prosecution, arguing that when a bail application is launched, the Investigating Officer, has to put forth evidence on the state’s concern on why bail may not be granted.
Amoomo argued further that the conditions set for bail are arbitrary and do not reflect any tangible concerns.
Thirdly, Amoomo stated that the bail conditions were pressed upon by the Prosecutor General.
“This is not a restaurant, where the PG can come and order anything and have it served. The rationale behind bail conditions is to alleviate fears that the state may have and such conditions were not instituted to please the PG,” Amoomo argued.
He added that that the condition that Nauyoma may not take part in any municipal land issue gives power to the state to get his client back into jail as they are aware that his work as an activist mainly pertains to such issues.
Amoomo further added that the charge which was laid against his client, which is contravening Article 21 of the Squatters Proclamation Act of 1985, is an unconstitutional act as it was created during the apartheid era to prevent any form of activism.
He further requested the court to take note that his client was taken into custody at 16:00 by law enforcement officers and not at 21:00 as stated on the record in aid of future charges that will be lodged against the Namibian Police for denying his client medical treatment to visible injuries.
Amoomo further bemoaned the fact that the start of the court case was delayed. “We came here at 08:00, the court case was supposed to start in the morning. However, we were told to wait as prosecution is briefing the PG. “Never in my career has this happened before” Amoomo said.
Objecting to setting the accused person free on warning, Smit stated that the matter drew a lot of public attention, and if the court sets Nauyoma free without bail that it would send out a message that the public can do what they want and the court will just let them go on a warming. He also argued that the gravity of the case does not allow for a simple warning.
Before postponing the matter to 18 March 2019 to allow police investigations to continue Magistrate Atutala Shikalepo ordered that Nauyoma be released on bail on two conditions. The conditions are that the accused person not interfere with police investigations and does not interfere with City Police when carrying out their mandate on municipal land.
After the court adjourned leader of the AR movement, Job Amupanda, stated that the arrest of his comrade is a highly political case as Special Field Force and Intelligence Officers were present before the hearing.
“We were told that the Regional Commander of the police met up with different police commanders. It is unfortunate that our judiciary has become a joke, with bail conditions being enforced by the Prosecutor General,” Amupanda said.