Paradys’ grazing and tribal conflicts turn physical

12 Oct 2013 19:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 12 OCT (NAMPA) – Conflict over grazing between communal farmers in the Paradys area of the Berseba village resulted in a physical fight and more legal charges being laid last Sunday.
Hendrik Visser was allegedly beaten in the face and kicked in the ribs by Antonius Losper in a fracas at a communal borehole on Sunday at Paradys.
Visser told Nampa on Friday that Losper assaulted him after he heard a revolver shot go off at the borehole.
“I was testing my revolver and when he heard that, he came to fight me because he thought I was shooting at his employees or animals. I have a bruise on the face and ribs from the beatings and kicking that landed me in the hospital,” Visser said.
As such, Visser laid a charge of common assault against Losper. The case is currently under police investigation.
Losper in turn accused Visser of threatening to shoot him and one of his brother’s (Donavan Losper) herdsmen at the borehole on Sunday.
“He (Visser) pointed a revolver at the employees at the water point and threatened to shoot them and me. One of the employees called me, and I came and asked him why he is threatening to shoot us. He started swearing at me, put his hand on the gun, and that is when I knocked him out with a fist. I did not kick him,” Losper told Nampa.
Since May this year, Visser has been in dispute with former Keetmanshoop Mayor Arnold Losper, and his brothers Antonius and Donavan over grazing land.
Another reason for the dispute is that in the same month, Visser moved his goats and sheep from the Groenveldputs village to Paradys in search of grazing - a move which received the approval of the then unrecognised Goliath Traditional Authority already in 2009.
However, the Lospers at Paradys allegedly stopped Visser, claiming they cannot afford to accommodate another farmer due to limited grazing.
Another reason for them wanting Visser out is that he moved there without the authorisation of the recognised /Hai-/khaua Traditional Authority, which rules Berseba now.
Nevertheless, Visser managed to settle at Paradys, but the Lospers allegedly threatened to make his life difficult and said they would force him to move.
In May this year, Arnold laid a charge of trespassing against Visser, who in turn laid a counter-charge of malicious damage to property after Arnold destroyed iron poles used to erect a fence on a piece of land which Arnold claims belongs to him.
In June, Visser also laid a charge of animal cruelty against Antonius for allegedly pumping down the water from the tank at a Government water point and locking the entrance to the diesel water pump, resulting in Visser’s animals going without water for three days.
Visser also complained that the police seem to be siding with the Lospers and the recognised traditional authority of Berseba, as all his cases were not heard up to this day.
He accused the police of “sweeping the cases under the carpet”, and he suspects that some of the police officers situated at Tses are from the recognised traditional authority.
Clarifying the matter, Crime Investigations’ Co-ordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the //Karas Region, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Isaak said the police have referred the first two cases to the Prosecutor-General for a decision to prosecute or not.