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Police arrest Red Flag Day trouble makers

Police arrest Red Flag Day trouble makers

Niël Terblanché
FOUR people are set to make an appearance in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court on charges of malicious damage to property, assault and theft after they were arrested on Sunday during the 96th commemoration of Red Flag Day.
The arrests follow the incident at the end of last week when tensions between supporters of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House came to blows.

Video: Members of the Special Reserve Force dressed in riot gear intervenes to defuse tensions between squabbling Herero groups on Sunday. – Footage: Marthina Mutanga

According to Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb, Otjozondjupa Regional Head of Operations confirmed that several cases were registered at Okahandja Police Station by Chief Tjinaani Maharero and his people from OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House against the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) after the confrontation between the two groups on Thursday.
“When the two groups again assembled in Okahandja on Sunday morning several of the culprits of Thursday’s incident were pointed out by the complainants and the arrests were made,” Deputy Commissioner Khairabeb said.
He said that on Sunday tensions were again building as the supporters of the OTA blocked the royal house members from entering the grave yard where the Herero leaders and heroes are buried.
Deputy Commissioner Khairabeb warned on Friday that the Namibian Police will maintain a strong presence in the vicinity of the commemoration proceedings to ensure that law and order prevail.
On Thursday the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House faction lit a holy fire at the premises owned by OTA to commemorate the Red Flag Day in remembrance of their fallen leader. Members of the OTA intervened and in the process scuffles broke out and the traditional red flag was taken down.
The timely intervention by the police on Sunday prevented a repeat of Thursday’s debacle although emotions were running high.
At one stage members of the Special Reserve Force dressed in riot gear were called to the site of the grave yard to disperse the quarrelling parties.
Deputy Commissioner Khairabeb said that relative peace and tranquillity has returned to Okahandja after most of the people who made the annual trip to Okahndja started leaving during Monday afternoon.

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