Students to seek legal recourse against police

09 Aug 2018 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 09 AUG (NAMPA) – Students at several institutions of higher learning, along with their representative, the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), have vowed to seek legal assistance against some Namibian Police Force members of the Special Reserve Force.
This comes after several students who partook in a mass demonstration against the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation on Wednesday, were “forcefully removed from the premises and brutally chased by the lawmakers”.
In a press conference on Thursday, Nanso president Ester Simon said: “We are heartbroken and saddened by how our rights have been violated and with that, we are already in the process of looking for legal assistance through our young lawyers and prosecutors.”
She said they will not condone violence against their peers and therefore want to ensure that they “protect” themselves in future, in case events of this nature happen again.
The students also stated that they will no longer engage directly with Higher Education Minister, Itah Kandjii-Murangi as they are now “afraid and worried” about what might happen next time they do.
“The minister is to be blamed for what transpired [Wednesday], as she refused to address our plights, instead she communicated to us saying she will meet us when the time is right, and we are very dissatisfied with this response,” Nanso vice president Bernhard Kavai said.
The about 300 students petitioned Kandjii-Murangi, demanding her assurance that the contract between students and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, signed in 2015, stipulating the payment of 100 per cent of tuition fees and 80 per cent of non-tuition fees, be honoured.
However, after hours of trying to negotiate with the minister, they were forcefully removed from the building and some reportedly assaulted after they refused to clear the area.
“We believe that our actions were all lawful and not illegal, as it was according to the law and all procedures. We are now traumatised and some of us even require psychological help after that event,” Kavai said.
The students labelled the incident “a sorrowful day for students in the Namibian history”, adding that innocent civilians were also involved in the alleged attacks and deserve an apology.
Despite the happenings, the students remain adamant that they deserve the response they seek from the minister as soon as possible.