08 Mar 2017 16:00pm
REHOBOTH, 08 MAR (NAMPA) - The case of five men arrested for an illegal public gathering and obstructing a police officer during a scuffle over land in Rehoboth in May last year, was finalised Tuesday.
The men, now known as the Rehoboth Five, are Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist Abraham Kaibib, 48; Melvin Beukes, 40; Gavin Cloete, 40; Petrus Olivier, 40; and Robert Borman, 45.
They appeared before Magistrate Desire Kamboua in the Rehoboth Magistrates Court.
The AR movement allegedly instigated approximately 300 residents of the town to occupy land illegally in the Kuvukiland settlement in Rehoboth's Block G area.
Confrontations erupted between the land grabbers and Police, who fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
The case was on the roll for plea and trial.
Upon the start of the trial, Beukes, Cloete, Olivier and Borman pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing a Namibian Police Force (NamPol) officer during a scuffle over land on 02 May last year. Kaibib pleaded not guilty and the case was split.
The four accused were sentenced to a fine of N.dollars 1 000 each or two months imprisonment. They paid the fines and were released.
The matter between Kaibib versus the State continued after lunch on Tuesday but state witnesses were not present.
Prosecutor Leonard Mateus asked for a postponement but the court refused, citing separation of trials and unavailability of witnesses to testify against the accused. Witnesses in this case were members of the Namibian Defense Force Special Reserve Force.
Kaibib was then acquitted on the charge and his bail money refunded.
Kadhila Amoomo from the Sisa Namandje law firm appeared for all five accused.