Children of the Liberation Struggle (CLS) on Monday night reportedly tormented residents of Mix Settlement by harassing shebeen owners, ordering them to close down their business places, destroying their stock and reportedly holding terrified shebeen owners at knife-point.
The group that earlier engaged in running battles with riot police after they disrupted traffic along the main road between Windhoek and Okahandja also threatened to set fire to the settlement.
Armed with machetes, iron rods and traditional knives the group allegedly told residents in the day that they would return at night to close the place down.
They did this because they were unhappy that the police had beaten them earlier in the day when they blocked the B1 road.
So far, two residents have filed criminal charges against six of the suspects – all of them male – related to damage to property and assault.
Shebeen owner Hilma Shooya, 38, was left with an injured ear and damaged property amounting to at least N$8 800 as a result of one such attack.
She estimates that about N$2 800 worth of alcohol was wasted, while a generator costing some N$6 000 was damaged.
Shooya explained that at around 19h00 a man came into her shebeen, alerting her that the struggle kids were in the settlement disturbing the residents.
“One man came in and said I must close the shebeen. He held me and we struggled. My customers ran out and I was only left with the man… Thank God, I overpowered him and closed the door, locking the rest outside. One tried going under the door, but got stuck underneath,” remarked Shooya, who said her youngest child, who is in Grade 3, helped her fight off the intruders.
Shooya said she was scared the men might kill her and further said they are afraid, because the group said they would return and burn them in their shacks.
She said the rest of the group eventually entered her shebeen and started throwing stones inside, causing bottles to fall off the shelves and smash on the ground.
“I’m unemployed and survive from my business. I take care of my three children and six siblings. My mom passed on and I take care of my siblings with the money from the shebeen,” she explained, saying she does not understand why the group turned against the residents, because the locals usually share the little food they have with the CLS when they visit the settlement.
Another shebeen owner, Filipus Vaino, said his solar panel was damaged when the kids threw stones on his roof, ordering him to close. At the same time, Vaino was confronted by several men inside the shebeen. “I then told the customers to leave. They also broke my solar panel,” he said.
CLS group leader Jerry Hamukwaya told New Era that he only heard about the anarchy yesterday, but was quick to say: “ I can’t confirm whether it was struggle kids who did that or not. No one came to [inform] us.”