Police arrest five for illegal land grabbing

03 Apr 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 03 APR (NAMPA) - A man is in a serious but stable condition in the Katutura State Hospital after he was injured during a scuffle with members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Saturday.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Inspector Slogan Matheus said during the weekly crime briefing here on Sunday the man, whose identity was not revealed, is under police guard after he was arrested along with four others during a failed attempt to illegally occupy land at Walvis Bay.
NamPol has charged them with trespassing, malicious damage to State property, obstructing a police officer while executing his duties, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Matheus said.
It is alleged that on Saturday at about 10h00 a crowd of residents gathered at an open area behind the Tutaleni residential area in Walvis Bay towards the Dune 7 Belt, and started marking off pieces of land in an attempt to erect illegal shacks.
One of illegal occupants was arrested after he ignored police orders to stop the illegal erection of a shack on the open space.
As he was taken away by police officers, according to Matheus, the crowd started throwing stones, bricks and sticks at members of the police and in the process damaged one of the police vehicles on the scene.
Part of the crowd proceeded to the Tutaleni Police Station where they further damaged four other police vehicles and three of the building’s windows.
Four members of the crowd, including one police officer, sustained injuries.
Matheus said rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd after the NamPol Reserve Force was summoned to restore order.
“No live ammunition was used,” he said while stressing that the crowd physically confronted the police, throwing stones, bottles and sticks.
Police officers are still patrolling the area and closely observing the situation.
NamPol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga has warned citizens not to occupy land illegally.
He advised landless Namibians to rather follow the prescribed procedures in order to acquire land, Matheus said.
Ndeitunga also warned that such actions will not be tolerated as it destabilises peace and stability in Namibia.
The police spokesperson said the police are investigating the matter and any person found to have violated the law, will be dealt with.