A police officer who allegedly shot a student nurse in the suburb of Goreagab in February this year, resulting in the nurse later dying, was brought before the Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was informed that his case will be transferred to the Regional Court in Katutura.
The accused, George Ndemoongela, 24, came across as timid when he appeared in court, which was packed with family members of the late Martha Ilonga, 20. His appearance was brief, as Prosecutor Maria Andimba informed the court that the matter would be transferred to the Regional Court. Ndemoongela will make his first appearance in the Regional Court on December 2. Magistrate Desire Umunani presided.
Ilonga was allegedly shot on February 12 by members of the police force, in what appears to be a police operation gone wrong. The Namibia National Students’ Organisation leadership has called for investigations into the incident.
Inspector Slogan Matheus from the police public relations department informed New Era shortly after the incident that the charge was changed from attempted murder to murder.
“We have had formal communication with the family of the deceased. Once the investigations are completed, the docket will be forwarded to the Prosecutor-General for a decision,” he said at the time.
The police allegedly shot Ilonga, who was studying at the Namibia Health Training Centre in Windhoek, in the head while she was seated in the backseat of a Toyota Corolla sedan. The student nurse was being driven home to Goreangab in Katutura, where she rented a room, family members told New Era after the incident.
The driver of the ill-fated vehicle, Titus Shuuveni, said he was escorting Ilonga home with his friend when the friend received a phonecall from someone who wanted them to drive to where he was. “We went there immediately before dropping off Martha. While driving, my friend told me to stop and then he went towards a white Polo Vivo that was parked alongside the road.
“My friend told me to get out and go to the Polo also,” Shuuveni informed New Era. He said suddenly out of nowhere a police officer emerged and handcuffed his friend and ordered them (Shuuveni and Ilonga) to drive off.
The police had allegedly been lying in ambush in what seemed like a police trap, whereby the Polo Vivo had been used to bait his friend, according to Shuuveni.
Apparently, one officer had mistakenly assumed the Corolla was speeding away from the police. The police claim the shooting was not intentional and that the bullet that struck Ilonga in the head was aimed at the sedan’s tyre.