The Windhoek High Court recently ordered wardens at Hardap Prison to return what it said was the unlawful confiscation of a TV, DVD and speakers from an inmate as a punitive measure because the complainant apparently did not follow the right procedures.
The inmate at Hardap Prison dragged its wardens to court to compel them to restore his TV and DVD privileges. Josephat Boois took the prison authorities to court in an application for spoliation. Spoliation is when someone spoils your undisturbed possession of an item or items.
In the present instance Boois bought a TV set and DVD and a set of speakers while in custody in Hardap Prison on a conviction of murder and robbery.
He was convicted together with Samuel Eixab and Naftali Eixab in December 2010. They were convicted by Regional Magistrate Dinah Usiku (as she then was) for murdering a taxi driver, Fillemon Ndeshipanda Amadhila, 35, on the Kupferberg road on the southwestern outskirts of Windhoek on December, 10, 2004 and of robbing Amadhila by stealing the car he was driving, an unknown amount of money, and clothes from him.
They were sentenced to 20 years each. Boois was sent to Hardap Prison and was assigned to work as a cook in 2015. During November 2015 he made an application to purchase a television, NBC decoder and an input DVD, which was approved by the officer in charge.
According to an affidavit by Boois, he then approached a former officer, named Angula, and asked him to find out where he can buy a second-hand TV. During December 2015, Angula informed him about a third party selling a TV and he bought it in the company of Angula.
Since then he had undisturbed possession of the TV set as part of his privileges for being a well behaved inmate. But, Boois said, during March 2016 and immediately after Officer Angula resigned from the correctional services the TV was seized by the management of Hardap Prison, allegedly because Angula was guilty of corrupt practices for bringing the TV onto the prison premises without following procedures.
Not satisfied with the developments, Boois managed to bring an urgent application, despite being hindered by the prison management.
He cited Assistant Commissioner Filipus Nangolo, Senior Superintendent Booysen, Senior Security Officer Amukoshi and Warrant Officer Vilho as the respondents. Nangolo was the only one who opposed the application.
According to Nangolo, the TV and DVD player were seized because the right procedures was not followed when Boois acquired the appliances. He further said that upon the seizure of the DVD player a cellphone was found hidden inside it. That, he said, is a clear violation of prison rules, as cellphones are not allowed for inmates.
Boois however, maintained that the cellphone was not his and that he never hid it in his DVD player. Acting Judge Elize Angula who heard the application found in favour of Boois, as the prison authorities could not prove the cellphone was found in Boois’ DVD.
She ordered the prison management to restore “forthwith” the possession of the TV and DVD player to Boois and that they are interdicted from removing or interfering with his possession of his goods.
They are also ordered to withdraw the disciplinary or criminal charges brought against Boois for the possession of the TV and DVD player and ordered them not to in any way or manner threaten, harass or abuse Boois.