THE disappearance of a 79-year-old pensioner since May last year has turned into an ugly fight pitting his granddaughter against renowned Khomas Police Regional Community Affairs leader, Chief Inspector Christine Fonsech, with the former laying a defamation charge against the police officer.
The pensioner and war veteran, Johannes Ndalipayi Katanga went missing from his granddaughter Ndilimike William’s house on May 26, 2016 in Katutura’s Goreangab area and has not yet been found. Police described Katanga as an Oshiwambo speaking elder, dark in complexion and was last seen at Havana’s four-way junction wearing red overall trousers, a floral long-sleeved shirt, navy jacket and a blue cap.
William, who is being accused by relatives for misusing Katanga’s veteran benefits since she brought him from the north three years ago, lodged a defamation of character case on CR537122016 against Fonsech and Serious Crime Unit Warrant Officer, a certain Joseph claiming they labelled her a murderer.
“Instead of helping me search for my grandfather, they accused me of being responsible for his disappearance and possible death. I brought his disappearance to their attention but now I am being accused,” claimed William.
Narrating events that led to her grandfather’s fate, William said that she brought him to Windhoek from the north to care for him. She claims that her grandfather would normally wonder off without anyone noticing adding that she had last seen him sleeping in an outside room at her home.
“He is a troubled man and normally goes off without informing anyone. He once got lost but we found him in Okuryangava with the help of the public. It is not right that police officers accuse me of being responsible for my grandfather’s disappearance when I am equally looking for him,” William said.
However, an unfazed Fonsech said that William’s defamation case against her and Joseph is a knee-jerk reaction to damning findings that are not in her favour.
“As law enforcement officers, we are not here to judge people but to solve everyday community problems. No one accused her of anything because she came to us as a community member who needed our help and we helped her. We advised her to open a docket of a missing person and we used different media platforms to spread the news of her missing grandfather. How is it we didn’t help her?” Fonsech quizzed.
Fonsech explained that after looking into the matter, it was discovered that William took the pensioner from the north without informing her relatives. She adds that William only notified the police of her grandfather’s disappearance two weeks later as opposed to 24 hours.
Fonsech said that it was also discovered that William bought two cars with the pensioner’s veteran funds and registered one in her name and the other in her son’s name. She reportedly also deposited about N$50 000 of the pensioner’s money into her personal bank account without informing relatives.
William reportedly also instructed her daughter to write a letter of oath as if it were permitted by the pensioner to be able to collect money on his behalf from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs as well as his monthly pension.
“Despite all our findings and her relatives narrating how she allegedly abused the pensioner’s money, we did not charge anyone. All I did was write a letter to the Ministry of Veterans Affairs asking for the pensioner’s assets to be frozen until he is found and the matter is finalised. Because of conflicting versions of what happened by William and other relatives, we transferred the case to the serious crime unit for further investigations. That was our involvement,” Fonsech said.
Fonsech stressed that Katanga’s disappearance needs deep interrogation because of various contradictions.
“We are not going to entertain cheap gossip and lies for we have far more serious issues to deal with. Facts speak for themselves and those facts we referred to relevant authorities for further investigations. People should know that with or without ranks, we will do our work because it is the passion that drives us. Nothing will discourage us. Dedicated officers should continue working hard and in silence so as to allow their success to be the noise to lazy people and cheap gossipmongers.
“This is a waste of time because at the end of the day, people will face the full wrath of the law. In fact interrogations into this matter will continue with other divisions, and that old man will be found,” Fonsech concluded.
Police request that anyone with information on Katanga’s whereabouts should contact their nearest Police Station.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015