Gang fight claims taxi driver’s life

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Windhoek

A 33-year-old man died after a vicious fight between two groups in Oshitenda informal settlement on Sunday night. It is alleged that eight people sustained knife cuts and bullets struck four people, while others were injured by stones during the fight.

The deceased has been identified as Nghikongelwa Ladeus Ndemukongela also known as Auala – a taxi driver. He resided in Okuryangava, but is originally from Etomba village in the Ohangwena Region. His relatives, who gathered at the house where the fatal incident happened, said Ndemukongela was an orphan who took care of his four siblings and two children.

Nampol spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi said the deceased was stabbed with a sharp object in the neck and head and died shortly after arriving at Katutura Hospital on Sunday night. Five suspects have been arrested.

According to the deceased’s relatives, Ndemukongela was called to take his younger brother to hospital on Sunday evening, after the later was reportedly attacked for the second time in one day by the same group of men, who accused him of committing a robbery.

Kanguatjivi confirmed the incident, saying the fight occurred on Sunday night between two groups over an alleged robbery. The murder happened at 21h00 at Oshitenda on King Kauluma Street.

“Both groups sustained serious injuries and were taken to Katutura Hospital,” he said. Kanguatjivi could, however, not confirm the nature of the injuries sustained by the members of the belligerents, noting that in gang fights it is difficult to say who did what.

On Monday morning some family members and neighbours gathered at Ndemukongela’s upon hearing about his sudden death. Stains of blood could be seen inside the shack, which also serves as a shebeen.

Relatives said Ndemukongela entered the shack after he was stabbed outside and his blood spattered on the floor. Trails of blood could also been seen leading into the shack.

The family collected the blood where the deceased fell and this will be transported with his corpse to the north.

Josephina Jeremia, a friend of Ndemukongela’s sisters, told New Era that an unidentified man came to their house on Sunday morning seeking help, saying he had been robbed in a nearby riverbed. Jeremia said the man had cuts on his hands.

She said a group of men later arrived at their house and one of them wrongfully accused Ndemukongela’s brother of committing the robbery, while another of the men attacked him.

“We took him [Ndemukongela’s brother] to the hospital, because he recently had an operation and when he was attacked a man picked him up and threw him on the ground,” Jeremia recalled, adding that from the hospital they went directly to the police station to lay charges.

She said the fight continued later that evening when Ndemukongela’s brother was again attacked with a hammer. “We went to these people’s house to ask why they attacked him again. At the same time we had called Ndemukongela to come and take his brother to the hospital, because he had a car and we had no taxi money,” she said.

Jeremia said in the meantime she went to the road to wait for a City Police vehicle she had earlier called, but it did not show up: “I then saw a Nampol car patrolling the area and I stopped it. I informed them that we have a problem and need help. On our way back to the shack we were informed by two women approaching us that Ndemukongela had died.”

Jeremia added that when she arrived at the shack she found Ndemukongela lying on the ground and, although he was still alive at the time, he had lost a lot of blood.

The suspects are due to make their first appearance before the Windhoek Magistrates court today.

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