Police detainee claims neglect

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Nabot Nandenge claims he was refused access to medical treatment at the Windhoek police station holding cells.

WINDHOEK – Nabot Nandenge about whom New Era reported a couple of weeks ago yesterday claimed a court order made by Magistrate Justine Asino that he be taken to a hospital for treatment has been ignored by the police.

Nandenge, who was visibly sick when he made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on September 17 on a charge of escaping from lawful custody, claims that his pleas to be taken to hospital to get his ARVs fell on deaf ears.

“I’ve been trying unsuccessfully since my court appearance to be taken to hospital, even my requests to see the station commander or the shift commanders are blatantly ignored,” he said.

Nandenge is in custody over what appears to be a misunderstanding regarding a warrant of arrest that was issued in Oshakati where he faces a charge of theft. He claims that his uncle paid his bail in Oshakati and that he then came to Windhoek in search of work when he was arrested on an outstanding warrant of arrest.

He further claimed that the police failed to take him to Oshakati for his scheduled appearance there on September 27. Magistrate Asino remanded the present matter to October 18 for the confusion to be sorted out and ordered that Nandenge be given medical treatment.

Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi told New Era that no inmate may be refused medical treatment.

She said sometimes inmates will pretend to be sick just to get an opportunity to get out even for a short while, so it is a fine balance between knowing whether a prisoner is genuinely sick or not.

When contacted for comment, Chief Inspector James Nandapo confessed ignorance of the matter, but assured this reporter that the matter would receive his immediate attention.

While he would not allow New Era access to Nandenge without the blessing from the liaison office, he did say that no prisoner should be refused medical care.

On the assertion by Nandenge that he was assaulted and robbed by fellow inmates, he said that is unfortunate, but such things happen and in most instances inmates do not complain to officers on duty.

 

By Roland Routh

 

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