Struggle kids born violent – senior cop

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Windhoek

Inspector Bennett Muyambango of the Namibian Police yesterday told Judge Christi Liebenberg that in his opinion the ‘struggle kids’ were born violent.

He made the remarks when testifying at the inquest into the death of Frieda Ndatipo who died from a bullet wound sustained during a skirmish between the struggle kids and the police on August 27 last year.

Muyambango was answering questions from lawyer Norman Tjombe, who is appearing for reporters of The Namibian newspaper, who were at the scene when Ndatipo was shot.

According to Muyambango he was informed by Sergeant Mbushe Mwinga by SMS about the struggle kids marching to the Swapo headquarters and that one of them was armed.

He further said that the man that was allegedly armed was said to be wearing a floppy hat with Swapo colours and was tall.

However, the man they later interrogated was rather short and was identified by Chief Inspector Amakali of the serious crime unit as one Shikuma Hamutenya, a man known to them as a suspect in robbery cases.

They however did not take the investigation further as no weapon was found on him and he did not fit the description of being tall, Muyambango said.

One of the police officers who took part in dispersing the struggle kids, Constable Jeremy Basson, said he was dispatched together with at least 14 of his colleagues to the scene where the struggle kids were causing mayhem.

When he arrived at the scene the struggle kids were blocking the entrance to the Swapo offices, Basson told the court.

They were then ordered to move the struggle kids to the other side of the road, but were met with fierce resistance.

He further informed the court that the struggle kids were armed with sticks, knobkieries and at least one spear.

Basson said they were ordered to use force if necessary since the struggle kids were resisting and the police were struggling to disarm them.

He continued that in an effort to disperse the crowd, he and the other police officers sprayed teargas into the mob and managed to scatter them in all directions.

“All off a sudden I heard a gunshot from the direction of the struggle kids … so I and some of my colleagues took out our firearms and started to shoot warning shots into the air,” he said.

He said that at the sound of the gunshots the struggle kids ran further in all directions, but still managed to pelt the police with stones and he was injured in the process.

The inquest is being held after the Minister of Justice, Albert Kawana, instructed Judge President Petrus Damaseb to assign a judge to hold an inquest to determine who shot Ndatipo, a mother of three.

State Advocate Dominic Lusilo represents the State and the family of the late Ndatipo is represented by Loini Shikale-Ambondo together with Orben Sibeya.

The inquest continues until Friday.

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