By Eliaser Ndeyanale
TWO Windhoek police officers who allegedly tortured a Windhoek man have been arrested, Nampol Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said on Tuesday.
Sergeant Sacky Kokule and another unidentified officer both from the Nampol Serious Crimes Investigative Unit have been arrested. The two officers are accused of having brutally beaten up Isai Nathanael (30) who sustained severe injuries, about a month ago after he was found in possession of a stolen camera.
“The two police officers have been arrested and charged,” said Ndeitunga adding that police officers should stop beating suspects that are under their care, as this was tantamount to torture which is prohibited in the country’s laws.
“It’s unlawful to assault a person, interrogate, and investigate them in an unprofessional manner. Never use excessive force unless such person acts in self-defence,” said Ndeitunga.
Nathanael who declared himself an innocent man has been hospitalised at Katutura State hospital for about a month now, recovering from injuries he sustained after he was arrested and brutally beaten up by police officers with a metal bar and cricket bat on June 1.
He said he was only operated on Saturday this past weekend and has suffered from continuous bleeding.
Relating his ordeal to Confidente on Tuesday, Nathanael said he bought the camera from someone in May but only learnt that the camera was stolen when police officers came to his place asking for it.
According to him, the police officers also confiscated his phone, an iPhone 6, and Hyundai car claiming that they were being used for criminal activities.
“Until now I don’t know where my phone and car are,” said Nathanael, adding that his family was the one that opened a criminal case against the two police officers.
A relative of his who claims to have witnessed the dramatic arrest of Nathanael related that at around 18h30, on June 1 the two police officers came to pick Nathanael up from his Okuryangava residence telling him he was under arrest. “From there they drove off to Windhoek Central police station where they are said to have beaten him up using an aluminium metal bar and cricket bat from 20h00 until 01h00,” the relative narrated.
The relative further said that although police officers knew that Nathanael sustained serious injuries, they refused to take him to hospital.
“When we went to the police station on Friday (3 June) the police officers did not want him to go to the hospital, they told us he was fine. Had we not insisted, he could have died at the police station. We took him to the hospital at 23h00 that day and he couldn’t sit or sleep because his buttocks were heavily swollen.
“Upon his arrival at the hospital the doctors told us that he was going to be operated, but they could not operate him because his behind was swollen making it difficult for them to operate him,” another family member narrated. When Confidente visited him at Katutura State Hospital two weeks ago, Nathanael who was guarded by a police officer related that when the police officers spanked him they requested him to exercise patience saying they were giving him what they referred to as ‘Kentucky’. Last week
the leader of Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Jeremiah Nambinga condemned police brutality comparing them to then South Africa apartheid government.
“It is a worrisome and of great concern to hear and read in the print media that either the members of the Namibian Police or the City Police are reported of perpetual brutality against Namibian citizens. “I know that every Namibian would appreciate the swift arrests of any citizen suspected of having committed a crime. We would all want to see these suspects brought to book so that the law could take its course. However, we do not want to be reminded of the then South Africa apartheid brutality to which our people were subjected to. We certainly cannot afford to lose the lives of our people in a free and independent Namibia at the hands of Namibian Police and the City Police
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015