Amushelelo, Nauyoma sue police, PG for N$10m

Michael Amushelelo

Social activists Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma have filed a lawsuit in which they are suing the Namibian Police and the prosecutor general for a total amount of N$10 million.

A damages claim by Amushelelo and Nauyoma was filed at the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

The two men, represented by lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, are suing the minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security, the inspector general of the Namibian Police, and the prosecutor general (PG) in connection with their arrest in Windhoek on 21 March last year, the subsequent period that they spent in custody, and their prosecution before they were acquitted.

The two men were charged with counts of public violence, malicious damage to property and incitement to public violence after they organised a public demonstration about unemployment in Namibia on 21 March last year.

They were arrested after police inspector general Joseph Shikongo prohibited the planned demonstration from going ahead.

After standing trial in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura, Amushelelo and Nauyoma were found not guilty in October last year.

Nauyoma was held in police custody for about two weeks after his arrest, and was then released on bail.

Amushelelo spent nearly seven months in custody before his acquittal resulted in his release.

In the claim that Amoomo filed yesterday, it is alleged that their arrest was unlawful and arbitrary, and that the police did not have a reasonable suspicion that they had committed the crimes they were accused of before they were arrested.

They also claim they were detained without lawful or justifiable grounds, and were then maliciously prosecuted before they were found not guilty on all charges.

Dimbulukeni Nauyoma

Amushelelo is also alleging that during the time he was detained he “was treated as if he was a danger to society and at one point was subjected to solitary confinement for a period of one month”.

Amushelelo is claiming a total amount of N$6 million – including N$4 million for alleged physical, psychological and emotional pain and trauma – from the minister, inspector general and PG.

Nauyoma is claiming N$4 million from the defendants. This includes N$3 million for alleged physical, psychological and emotional pain and trauma.

Amushelelo and Nauyoma were arrested and initially charged together with Popular Democratic Movement National Assembly member Inna Hengari.

Charges against Hengari were withdrawn in August last year, before Nauyoma and Amushelelo denied guilt on all three counts on which they were prosecuted.

A lawyer representing Hengari informed Shikongo last month that she will be suing the police for N$2 million in connection with her arrest.

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