WINDHOEK – Five Angolan students were on Wednesday fined in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for resisting a member of the Namibian Police in the execution of his duties. Magistrate Tuvoye Nuule delivered the sentence.
According to the annexure to the charge sheet the students, Vicente Osvaldo, Amaro Katia Selene, Pacheo Fatou Wade Amaro, Lemos Antonio Lourenco Da Rocha and Benjamin Allison Garcia Cassule unlawfully resisted or willfully hindered Constable Vetaramuse Kaiko in the exercise of his powers or in the performance of his duties.
It is further stated that the accused willfully interfered with Kaiko in his uniform or any part thereof by pushing and pulling him whilst he was trying to attend to a noise and an unruly complaint and also tore the uniform of the officer. The incident is said to have happened on Saturday October 19 near Urban Space Flats in Klein Windhoek.
Information available indicated some Angolans took a taxi to Urban Space Flats in Klein Windhoek and on arrival refused to pay the fare.
A scuffle then ensued and the gang that grew in numbers as the altercation got more unruly overpowered the taxi driver.
When the police officer arrived on the scene some of the gang accosted him, while others ran away. With reinforcements the constable managed to apprehend the five accused.
It is not known at this stage whether the taxi driver lodged a case. During their first appearance all five accused pleaded guilty to the charge after electing to conduct their own defence.
In mitigation Osvaldo informed the court that he is 25 years old and a student maintained by his parents. He asked for a fine of N$500. Selene informed Magistrate Nuule that she is employed as a secretary with a salary of N$3 000 per month.
She said that she is 36 years old and is the mother of three children aged 7, 14 and 17 who stay with her. She asked for a fine of N$400.
Amaro informed the court that she is 29 years old and the mother of a 13-year-old girl who lives with her. She said that she is employed as an admin assistant and earns N$4 000 per month after deductions.
According to her she is a third-year part-time student in business administration. Amaro asked the court for leniency and asked for a fine of N$500. Da Rocha told magistrate Nuule that he is 21 years old and a student still being financially supported by his parents.
He apologised for what he did and informed the court that he can only afford a fine of N$400. Likewise Cassule apologised and told Nuule he regretted what he had done. He said that he too is a student maintained by his parents and asked for a fine of N$500.
But State prosecutor Seredine Jacobs had no sympathy for the Angolans. She informed the court that they are convicted of a serious offence. According to Jacobs, police officers are there to enforce the law and if people are allowed to interfere with their duties chaos would ensue and render the country lawless.
Magistrate Nuule told the accused that interfering with law enforcement officers in carrying out their duty is “a big no, no”. She said that society would lose confidence in the ability of law enforcement if such behaviour is condoned by Namibia’s courts. She sentenced the five Angolans to a fine of N$1 500 each or six months’ imprisonment.
By Roland Routh