THE High Court yesterday ordered that the Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Namholo and the Inspector-General of the Namibian police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, pay a total N$800 000 to four students who were assaulted by police officers during a Nanso organised peaceful demonstration to the Ministry of Higher Education during August 2018.
The students, Jesaya Katamba (25), Iyaloo Fillemon (28), Tuhafeni Kalola (26) and Paulus Amukoto (25), will each receive N$200 000 for stress, shock and the emotional trauma they endured as a result of the assaults.
Medical reports submitted by each student suggests that the students indeed visited hospitals and clinics for medical attention for different ailments.
High court Judge Collins Parker has since ordered for a default judgment in favour of the students.
Court documents reveal that the defendants failed to timeously tender their appearance to defend their case, leaving the plaintiffs procedurally entitled to apply for a default judgment, in terms of the law. The legal practitioners on behalf of the Government also failed to show up at court.
Commenting on the matter, Ndeitunga said that there was a possible mix-up with the dates from the Attorneys’ side.
“There was definitely a mess up with the dates and time. Our lawyers are busy looking into the matter. It is quite unfortunate that we missed the date. Had our lawyers been at court, they could have advanced our arguments on the matter. I am not quite sure whether we will appeal. I cannot comment further because we are waiting for the way forward and legal advice from our lawyers,” Ndeitunga said.
Kalola, in his affidavit, claims that he sustained wounds and muscle pains as a result of the assault.
“I could not walk properly and I missed my classes for two days. I went to the clinic where I received medical attention and I endured pain for three days,” the student said.
Fillemon, on her part, maintained that she too missed her class the following day as she could not walk. Her pain, she says, emanates from a ‘very painful’ wound on her left knee, as provided for in her medical report.
“I went to hospital on 10 August and I went back to hospital for a total 6 days for cleansing of the wound and dressing. I endured pain for about 14 days and I have endured shock, stress and emotional trauma,” she stated.
Amukoto’s injuries included an eye injury.
“I was not seeing properly as can be seen in my medical report. I went to the hospital and I missed my classes. I endured pain for about 10 days,” he said.
Jesaya too maintained in his affidavit that he had missed class as a result of the assault. He says he sustained bruises, wounds and his entire body was in pain. His pain lasted for a period of four days.
Henry Shimutwikeni represented the plaintiffs in the matter.