THE Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force as wells as Acting Chief of the Namibian Defence Force has directed that two incidents of violence against civilians should be investigated thoroughly should be thoroughly.
During a joint briefing by Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga and Air Vice Marshal Martin Pinehas said in the wake of the circulation of two video clips depicting members of the Namibian Police Force (NAMPOL) and the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) manhandling members of the public stated the stated the official position of the forces participating in Operation Kalahrai Desert Phase VI.
The full statement reads as follows:
The Namibian Police Force and the Namibian Defence Force have learnt with dismay about the unbecoming behaviour of some police officers and soldiers deployed in the police-led joint crime prevention operation code-named “Operation Kalahari Desert Phase VI” in Khomas Region. The two videos in question are depicting members of the operation slapping and kicking members of the public.
At the onset, I should emphasize that it is against the law and the regulations for law enforcement officers to assault, violate and or manhandle people, even those suspected of committing offences.
Irrespective of the circumstances, the use of force by law enforcement officers may only be permissible in circumstances of self-defence or to overcome resistance by a suspect during a lawful arrest. Therefore, we strongly condemn the actions of the members, as depicted in the two video clips.
In this regard, the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force, together with the Acting Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, directed that the two incidents should be thoroughly investigated.
According to the preliminary information at our disposal, the incident showing a male adult, being led from a City Golf sedan, happened at around 16h45 on Thursday, 02 January 2020 at the Goreangab area of Katutura in Windhoek. Prior to the recording, it is alleged that the man had been spotted driving recklessly and flashing lights towards the members of the operation who were on patrol in the area. He then spun the sedan he was driving, almost bumping one of the soldiers, luckily the soldier ran for safety.
After spinning the vehicle, he allegedly lowered the window of the car, revved the engine of the vehicle excessively, showed his middle finger to the members and continued spinning before he drove off and stopped the car about one hundred (100) meters away where he was subsequently approached by the members. (This is probably where the video recording started.)
With regard to the recording of a white Nissan Tiida taxi number E77, the incident happened around 12H16 on Thursday, 09 January 2020 at the intersection of Florence Nightingale and Hans-Dietrich Genscher streets in Khomasdal. Six (06) male adults were seen hurriedly boarding the taxi. This raised suspicion by the patrol team that was approaching in a vehicle. In pursuance of investigating the suspicious circumstances, the patrol vehicle drove past the taxi and proceeded further along Hans-Dietrich Genscher Street to intercept the taxi near Gateway Centre.
As anticipated, the overloaded taxi followed along the same street and, when the driver saw the patrol team, he made an abrupt u-turn on a solid barrier line. The patrol team then pursued the taxi. At the traffic lights, the taxi came to a standstill and one of the passengers got out of the motor vehicle and started running; however, he was pursued by the members of the patrol team and apprehended. (This is probably where the video recording started.)
Subsequently, the taxi driver and the passengers were taken in for further questioning, where two (2) passengers were confirmed to have been involved in robbery cases in the past.
It should be noted that on the same day, around 10h00, just prior to the incident of the Nissan Tiida taxi, the patrol team raided a suspected house at Dawid Goeieman Street in Khomasdal, and about one hundred and fifty-seven (157) suspected stolen items were confiscated. This includes: 29 cellphones, 21 credit cards for different shops, 4 ATM cards, 2 Flat Screen TVs, a price list of drugs and many other items.
In as much as we do not entertain unbecoming conduct by law enforcers, we also do not condone nor tolerate any act of violence, disrespect or demeaning gestures being made against the soldiers and the police officers while in the execution of their duties. We, therefore, urge the public to cooperate with them and treat them with respect. These officers work tirelessly to ensure that the streets are cleared of criminals and that safety and security are guaranteed at all times.
The unbecoming behaviour perpetrated against members of the public cannot be justified. Therefore, we are reassuring the public that the investigation is underway and any transgression will be dealt with in conformity with the law.