House demolition shelved following death threat

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Nuusita Ashipala

Oniipa-Officials at Oniipa Town Council on Tuesday halted plans to demolish a three-bedroom house that was constructed illegally after the owner made death threats against them.

Timotteus Ikela on Monday reportedly issued death threats against the development planner at the town, as well as the chairperson of the town’s management council.

Ikele admitted having made the death threats, saying he constructed the house being targeted by the officials at Oniipa on land that belonged to his late parents.

Oniipa Mayor Mannetjies Kambonde said the council could not enforce the demolition of Timotteus Ikela’s house, because Ikela could carry out his threat because he is armed.

He said the police were not alerted on time, once the police respond the council would proceed to negotiate with Ikela to halt the construction of the house that council feels is being built illegally.

If this fails, council will be compelled to take the legal route to have the house demolished, he said.
“The threats have to be. I lost my father in the same manner fighting for land and we never saw his body. I am ready to die fighting for my father’s plot.

“If they are to demolish my house it will cost their lives and mine too and that would be the end,” said a visibly agitated Ikela from his home.

Ikela, a trained sailor in the Ministry of Defence, said he spent more than N$300,000 on building materials so far and that he had frequented the council’s office to seek permission to construct his house, but was never given adequate feedback as to why he should not proceed.

He further claims the council since last year refused to approve his plan, but have also failed to give him sufficient reasons as to why it is being rejected, which he says prompted him to start with construction at his plot.

“This town does not have map in place. Until when should we wait to develop our properties… while we wait to be given a go-ahead, others are constructing and nothing is being done.
“And if my structure is illegal why did they approve and give me letters to apply for water and electricity? Why did they allocate it an erf number?”

Mayor Kambonde said Ikela was in defiance of resolutions taken by the town council to halt illegal constructions at the town. He further dismissed allegations that the council does not have a town map.
“We were in fact doing him a favour, because we do not want him to construct at a place where something else is planned,” he said.

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