'Struggle kids' set free

05 Oct 2016 15:10pm
OKANDJENGEDI, 05 OCT (NAMPA) - The case of 14 “struggle kids” arrested on charges of instigating public violence here on 22 November 2015 has been withdrawn.
Court documents availed to Nampa on Wednesday indicate that they were set free on 29 September 2016 after the charge of public violence was withdrawn due to an absence of witnesses when they made their last appearance in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court that day.
The 14 were among some 300 “struggle kids” who were camping at the Swapo-party regional office near Oshakati's Okandjengedi informal settlement since last year, demanding Government jobs.
The group was arrested and charged after they reportedly planned to disrupt a Swapo rally, which was scheduled to take place on 22 November 2015.
“The meeting was taking place in Ongwediva, so we appealed to the police in advance to come and escort us to the meeting as we were going to march, but when the day came the police stopped us from going and arrested us instead,” one of the group members told Nampa after the court session.
The members were detained in prison for close to two weeks, and were later released on bail of N.dollars 500 each, which was refunded to them on their last court appearance.
Among them was Johannes Malumbu, who was facing an additional charge of discharging a firearm in a municipal area. He reportedly fired a shot into the air during the confrontation between the struggle kids and members of the police along the Oshakati-Ongwediva main road.
Malumbu told this agency that even though he is grateful that justice was done, he is still not pleased by the fact that he had to travel back and forth from the //Kharas Region for the hearing, just to be told the same thing over and over.
Joshua Hosea, who is currently camping with another group of struggle kids at the Ndilimani farm north of Windhoek, expressed his anger towards the whole situation, saying their reputations have now been tarnished.
“Yes, I am happy that we are finally free, however, our names have now been ruined and it may cause problems for us when we apply for jobs in the future,” he noted.
Thirteen of the members conducted their own defence, while Malumbu had a lawyer to represent him.
Public Prosecutor Rheinhaid Jacobs appeared for the State.