Keetmans students in alleged racial attack

01 Oct 2013 05:30
KEETMANSHOOP, 01 OCT (NAMPA) – Two students of the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) centre in Keetmanshoop and a friend are alleging that they were victims of a racially-motivated attack at this southern town last Friday.
The three young men say they were allegedly attacked by three white individuals at a pub in Keetmanshoop on that night.
In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, the trio said they had intended to buy bread at a bakery next to a pub in town.
When they got there, they found that the bakery was closed. They then decided to go to the pub.
NIMT students Otto Kalimela Stephanus, 22; and Haikali Venasiu, 23; as well as their friend Wilhelm Mwetungelela, 24, who does not attend NIMT, said immediately after entering the pub, they were allegedly told it is ‘not a place for blacks’, and were then attacked.
The name of the pub is known to this news agency, but cannot be mentioned as the owners were not available for comment.
Venasiu has two stitches above his left eye, where he claims he was hit with a pistol during the attack, while Mwetungelela was allegedly knocked unconscious.
“We did not say anything to them. When they saw us, they just surrounded us. They were a lot, but only three started beating us when we went outside, while one pointed and whipped me with a pistol in the face. They were telling us that it is not a place for blacks,” Venasiu stressed.
Mwetungelela also claimed that his hearing has been affected, and he now suffers constant nose bleeds after the attack, which prompted him to go to hospital on Monday.
Stephanus, for his part, said he had been walking behind his friends when they entered the pub.
“When I went in, I found a group of white men surrounding my friends. When I asked what was happening, one man pointed a pistol at my head and told me to sit down. I refused to sit down, and we started fighting. During the fight, I heard a gunshot, and I ran away,” he explained.
Stephanus ran to their home, which is situated close to the pub.
The attackers allegedly drove after his friends with two vehicles, and Stephanus said while at home, he saw the attackers’ vehicle approaching their house.
They dropped an unconscious Mwetungelela off at the gate.
“I overheard them saying that if he dies, it is his own problem, not theirs. I went to check on him (Mwetungelela) and he was not speaking. I even thought that he was dead,” Stephanus, who escaped unharmed, said.
The Crime Investigations’ Coordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the //Karas Region, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Isaak confirmed that a case of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a case of pointing a firearm was opened with the police.
Isaak said none of the accused persons have been arrested yet, as the police are still investigating the matter.
“We want to make sure a proper investigation is done before any arrest is effected,” he stated.