Former taxi driver Sabiso Samulandela, who was found guilty of kidnapping and sent to jail for 18 months, has decided to seek for legal advice and wants to sue government for N$6 million on grounds his character was defamed and that he suffered malicious prosecution.
Samulandela was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in March last year after he was found guilty of kidnapping Mario Ndumba and Given Mata when he locked them in the boot of his taxi on October 17, 2015 in a case that attracted a lot of public attention.
It was widely believed Samulandela kidnapped the two boys, Grade 12 learners at Caprivi Senior Secondary School. During his sentencing he had told the court he locked up the boys because he wanted to punish them and “teach them a lesson”, as they had angered him by allegedly taking photographs of him and his friends while they were drinking in a park at night.
The boys were later rescued by NamPol officers, who were on patrol in the area, who found the vehicle Samulandela and his friend were driving at the Katima Mulilo dumpsite.
Samulandela and two other men were accused of kidnapping, human trafficking and robbery, but the State later dropped the other two charges and successfully prosecuted Samulandela for kidnapping and sent him to jail for 18 months.
He served 12 months in jail and he was released in March to serve the remaining six months outside. He has, however, wasted no time in kicking up a fuss, as he now aims to sue the State for the damage to his reputation as a result of trial proceedings.
“My reputation in the society has been ruined. I can no longer walk freely in public, as everyone is looking at me as someone who wanted to use the boys for rituals, which was not the case. People were even saying the 18 months I was sentenced was [too little], as they believed that I was guilty of human trafficking, which was not the case,” he says.
He maintains the way his case was handled by the State was humiliating, as it attracted public interest as if he was guilty of a lot of things, while his only mistake was “unintentionally kidnapping” the boys to “teach them a lesson for misbehaving” and that he never intended to use them for any rituals.
Samulandela has approached human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe to help him in his quest to sue the State.