Kawana wants High Court judge for inquest into Ndatipo's death

24 Apr 2015 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 24 APR (NAMPA) - Justice Minister Albert Kawana has requested deputy chief justice Petrus Damaseb to designate a judge of the High Court to hold an inquest into the death of 26-year-old 'struggle kid' Frieda Ndatipo.
An inquest is a judicial inquiry which would ascertain the facts relating to the incident.
Kawana said in the National Assembly (NA) here on Thursday that he has decided in his capacity as Justice Minister to invoke the provisions of Section 7 (3)(b) of the Inquest Act of 1993, as Prosecutor-General (PG), Martha Imalwa after extensively studying the report, has declined to prosecute on the available evidence.
Ndatipo died during a violent confrontation between a group of ‘struggle kids’ and the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) near the Swapo-Party headquarters in Katutura last year.
“Following this unfortunate event, the then Prime Minister Hage Geingob assured the nation that there would be an impartial investigation into the death of Ndatipo,” Kawana explained.
He further explained that in terms of Article 91 of the Namibian Constitution, the Ombudsman was then requested to investigate the circumstances of her death.
He added that a team of reputable professionals in various disciplines was assembled by the Ombudsman to carry out an impartial investigation.
“A report was subsequently submitted to me and to the PG in December last year. The PG was requested to decide whether or not to prosecute on the available evidence, which she declined after extensive studying,” he stated.
Imalwa's decision was then communicated to the Ombudsman on 10 April this year.
Kawana further informed legislators that Damaseb has acceded to his request and thus thanked him for his prompt response.
“You will recall that this matter generated a lot of public debate and a citizen of this country lost her life in an unfortunate circumstance. Our President who was then PM promised the nation that Government will do everything possible to establish what happened, thus my decision to invoke the inquest act of 1993,” Kawana said.
The Justice Minister called upon all stakeholders to ensure that an inquest into the death of Ndatipo is held as soon as possible and that maximum cooperation is given to the High Court.