Pupils from various schools in Gobabis on Friday took to the streets to protest against what they termed ‘police brutality’ following the killing of 18-year- old Odilo Motanane, allegedly by an off-duty senior police officer at the town.
A shooting took place in Canaan informal settlement on the outskirts of Gobabis. New Era last week reported that a 47-year-old detective inspector shot dead Wenni Du Plessis High School learner, Motanane.
A 22-year-old woman who was apparently in an intimate relationship with both men was somehow also injured.
After shooting the learner the police officer shot himself in the shoulder with his service pistol. The woman is receiving medical care in Gobabis, while the suspect was transferred to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital in Windhoek.
The learners walked from their respective schools to the Gobabis police station, where they handed a petition to the police authority.
Reading the petition on behalf of the learners, the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) representative Tjipekapora Tjatindi said the student organisation is shocked and saddened by what has happened.
“These are the people who are expected to maintain peace and stability in the country but look at what happened … it is your people who failed to uphold Namibia’s constitution this time,” he said.
Tjatindi said that whether on duty or not, police officers have the responsibility to behave and conduct themselves responsibly.
He said such behaviour by a police officer should not be tolerated in an independent Namibia. “After 26 years of independence, still we could not produce professional police officers who are trained and uphold their code of conduct at all times.”
He said the student organisation is waiting patiently for the police officer to recover and to be dealt with accordingly.
He also asked the police to consider operating without guns. “Those police officers who are not using their guns for the correct and intended purposes should not be given guns, and it should be outlined to them carefully and clearly as to what they are supposed to be used for,” said Tjatindi.
Police commissioner Marcellus Maritshane received the petition and promised to refer it to the police chief, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.