The Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa does not see the need to prosecute anyone in the case of the late “struggle kid” Frieda Ndatipo, who was shot dead last year near the Swapo Party headquarters in Windhoek. The Minister of Justice Dr Albert Kawana made the announcement yesterday in the National Assembly saying a judge will hold a public inquest into the death.
The public inquest, involving a judge, would be the first such enquiry in decades – the last one being the inquest into the death of Swapo activist Anton Lubowski, who was gunned down prior to independence and whose killer/s remain at large.
“A report was submitted to me and to the Prosecutor General in December last year.
The Prosecutor General was requested to decide whether or not to prosecute on the available evidence. After extensively studying the report, the Prosecutor General declined to prosecute on the available evidence,” stated Kawana.
He said due to the public interest and debate generated after her death, he decided to use his Constitutional power as minister to invoke the provisions of Section 7(3) of the Inquest Act, 1993 (Act No.6 of 1993) to request the deputy chief justice to designate a judge of the High Court to hold an inquest.
After making the announcement, Swanu MP Usutuaije Maamberua asked Kawana whether the report could be made public or not.
“At this point it is still premature to make it public because it must be submitted to the judge,” answered Kawana.
New Era could not get hold of Imalwa to establish why she refused to prosecute.
Both chairperson of the Namibian Exile Kids Association (Neka) Benita Nakaambo and the legal representative representing Ndatipo’s family had no immediate comment on Kawana’s announcement.
Ndatipo was reportedly shot dead by a police officer during a confrontation with members of the law-enforcement unit, who were preventing the marching ‘struggle kids’ from entering the Swapo Party head office, where the group headed to demand jobs.
She was buried at her home village of Okongo in the Ohangwena Region.
Ndatipo’s death was received with massive public outcry for justice to be served.
After the incident, the then Prime Minister Hage Geingob, now the President, vowed that there would be an impartial investigation into the matter.