By Confidente Reporter
THE Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka, has tasked a group of social workers to investigate allegations of three minors that have allegedly been in police custody for three months for stealing a bag of tomatoes.
The minors are reportedly being held at the Dordabis police station, a village situated 80 kilometres east of the capital. Information at hand suggests that the minors have been in incarceration for the three months without having appeared in court. This would however be in contradiction with the Constitution which highlights that a suspect should be brought before a court within 48 hours after arrest; equally minors are normally released in the care of their parents or guardians pending the finalisation of their cases.
Sioka on Monday told Confidente that she got wind of the disturbing information adding that she immediately tasked social workers to look into the issue.
“I learnt of the matter and have requested social workers to look into the matter. The social workers already left for Dordabis and we will have a clear picture of what is really going on,” Sioka said.
However, police spokesperson Inspector Slogan Mathews said that the allegations appeared to be false.
“I should confirm to you that, such allegations as put forth do not seem true, they are more close to fabrication than truth. At Dordabis Police Station in specific, there are no minors detained, neither for the past three months was there any minor brought for questioning or for detention whatsoever. However, we do not take such allegations lightly, most importantly when they relate to a violation of constitutionally protected rights,” Mathews said.
Mathews added that the only incident involving a minor at Dordabis Police Station was on November 7, where a 16-year-old boy was implicated in a housebreaking and theft case opened by a Dordabis resident. The minor Mathews said was charged for housebreaking and theft.
“We have already traced and made contact with the minor’s parents, for the boy to be released into the custody of the parents and for them to ensure his appearance at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court,” Mathews said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015