Ten cases opened after Brakwater saga

28 Jan 2016 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 28 JAN (NAMPA) - The ‘children of the liberation struggle’ and Brakwater residents have opened cases against each other after the clash between them two weeks ago at Brakwater just outside Windhoek.
In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, Namibian Police Force (Nampol) Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said the two parties opened cases the week following their clash on 14 January 2016 that resulted from struggle kids allegedly collecting wood from the private plots at Brakwater illegally.
“I am speaking under correction; the struggle kids opened six cases against the plot owners and the plot owners opened four cases against the struggle kids,” he said.
The six cases against the plot owners include attempted murder and malicious damage to property, while the Brakwater plot owners opened cases of trespassing, malicious damage to property, intent to cause grievous bodily harm and verbal threat assault against the liberation struggle kids.
“Two investigating teams from the police force have been allocated to both parties to investigate the parties’ matter at the moment.”
Investigations begun on 15 January 2016 and so far, no arrests have been made yet.
The eventually violent confrontation between the struggle kids and some Brakwater residents started when a female struggle kid was allegedly hit by a car driven by one of the local plot owners, who allegedly accused them of illegally collecting firewood from his plot.
Several people were injured including two struggle kids, the plot owner, his son and members of the neighbourhood watch group.
On 15 January, the about 400 struggle kids blocked the Brakwater road, prompting NamPol to deploy its Special Reserve Force to the area. The police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the struggle kids.
Approached for comment last week Thursday, veteran Swapo Party member and current mediator between the ruling party and the struggle children, Nicodemus Kamati said he was not aware of the cases opened against the struggle kids but he was aware of the cases they had made against the residents.
The former commander in the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) also defended the struggle kids, saying they are not the way they are portrayed.
“The struggle kids are not violent at all. They did not start the whole saga; it was the farmer, he caused all the trouble.”
Kamati explained that the farmer, who accused the three women struggle kids of collecting firewood illegally from his farm, which was not the case when he just drove away after her bumped Josephine Iipinge on 12 January, caused the actual initiating incident.
In an interview with Nampa after the violent clash, a male plot owner who requested anonymity said they are living in fear because of “silly” promises made by Government.
“We cannot be held ransom and blackmailed by 450 people because of silly promises that the government made to them (struggle kids). They must do what they promised; now I cannot even go home because of this chaos (road blockage).”
Kamati defended the struggle kids further last week, saying that they are not troublemakers and are just demanding what Government had promised them: employment opportunities.
He noted that discussions were held between the ruling party and disgruntled youth, who were assured that Government is working on a solution to their employment problem.
“Swapo Party and Government did not abandon these children and they promised them jobs, and I am positive that the government of our country will deliver their promise.”
Kamati said he does not know how long it will take before the struggle kids are employed but noted he is hoping it is done soon because he is unhappy with their current living situation of no ablution facilities and relying on donations.
About 400 struggle kids were relocated to the Ndilimani Cultural Troupe Farm in Brakwater since December last year after camping at the Swapo Party headquarters since October 2015.
(NAMPA)
JTN/LI/AS