Struggle kids face charges of damage to property and trespassing

19 Apr 2017 12:30pm
ONGWEDIVA, 19 APR (NAMPA) – A group of 36 ‘struggle kids’, who have been camping near the Ondangwa Airport over the past eight months, are accusing the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) of brutality.
Speaking to Nampa at Ondangwa over the weekend, the youth said local police officers attacked their camp on the evening of 12 April 2017 and roughly dismantled their tents.
This followed after two female struggle kids on 11 April 2017 placed rocks on the main road near the airport out of “frustration over the government’s reluctance to offer them employment”.
The youth now claim officers rounded up all of them on the same day and took them to the Ondangwa Police Station, where they were released only several hours later, except for the two women who placed rocks on the road. The two are Maria Endjala and Leticia Jona.
They are waiting to appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court.
“They (NamPol) came back to us on 13 April 2017 and arrested our leaders - William Jonas, Iipinge Petrus and Simeon Shikulo - apparently on a charge of trespassing,” the group claimed.
The youth indicated they do not condone the placing of rocks on the road, but condemn the manner in which the police attacked them while they were sleeping and damaging their tents in the process of dismantling it.
Approached for comment on Tuesday, NamPol Commander in the Oshana Region, Commissioner Rauha Amwele confirmed the arrest of the ‘struggle kids’.
Amwele said Endjala and Jona are charged with malicious damage to property and the three leaders for trespassing.
“They placed big stones in the road and as such two motorists’ cars were damaged, and they have laid charges of damage to property with the police,” Amwele stated.
According to her, damages on one of the cars is valued at more than N.dollars 11 000.
Amwele also noted that the Ondangwa Town Council had pressed charges of trespassing against the youth for refusing to vacate the site where they are camping unauthorised, hence the arrest of the group leaders.
“I was briefly informed that they appeared in court at Ondangwa today (Tuesday), but they are unable to pay bail granted to them,” said Amwele.