Crimes that gripped the nation

AS the year winds down, we take a look back at some of the crime stories that caught the attention of the nation.

Erick Martin (‘Akawa’)

OKAHANDJA SHOOTING

IN the late hours of 25 April, five suspected robbers were shot dead near Okahandja during a police chase that involved members of the Namibian Police and Windhoek City Police.

The chase followed a failed attempt to rob a Windhoek gambling house.

The incident happened at Okahandja Samuel Maharero Street.

“When I went out of the room to light my cigarette around 23h00, I heard gunshots, they sounded like they were in my yard.

First I heard a tyre burst and I think one of the drivers lost control of the car and it overturned, then I heard gunshots that sounded like [that from] AK-47 guns,” recalls one of the residents of Smarties Extension 16 at Okahandja.

The resident said when he woke up the next morning, he could not see anything as officers were already cleaning the scene.

In a statement released nearly a week after the incident, police deputy inspector general for operations major general Elias Mutota said a murder case was registered against the police officers involved in the deadly shooting, while a case of attempted murder and malicious damage to property has been registered against a sixth suspected robber, who managed to flee the scene of the shooting.

The deceased were identified as Abed Andreas, also known as ‘Koppe’, Flavianus Kaluwapa Endjala, also known as ‘Kalu’, Marius ‘Jackie’ Iipinge, Malakia Iiyambo Kotokeni, who was also known as ‘Brown’ and Erick Martin ‘Akawa’.

KATUTURA KILLING

On the Saturday afternoon of 13 August, Patrick Hawala Hamupunda (31) was shot, stabbed and hacked to death with a panga by men in a house along Mungunda Street in Katutura.

Following the gruesome murder, the Windhoek City Police and a security company blocked off entrances to Windhoek’s Rocky Crest suburb from noon until 18h00.

“I just froze because in the corridor were four guys and the two were in the room. One had a gun and the other a panga.

They were speaking in Oshiwambo and I could not understand what they were saying, but in the background I could hear him calling my name when I got into the room and he was holding his neck and I think he was shot there because he had three panga cuts in his face and both arms,” said an eyewitness, following the night of the crime.

SCAMMERS

On 3 October, at least 50 of a group of young Namibians arrested in Windhoek in connection with an alleged international investment scam agreed to cooperate with the Namibian Police in a human trafficking investigation.

Fourteen people, including 10 Chinese nationals, arrested by the police appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on 203 charges on 6 October.

The charges included 98 counts of trafficking in persons, 98 charges of using the services of victims of trafficking, one count of fraud involving an amount of US$465 405 (about N$9 million) and charges of money laundering, racketeering and failing to pay tax.

Mutota said 50 students are among 88 young Namibians who were enticed with offers of marketing jobs but ended up being trafficked in Windhoek.

“Young Namibian males and females, mostly students, were recruited by the suspected foreign nationals and trained to create false profiles on Facebook and Instagram to lure unsuspecting American citizens into a scheme that started with building trust with the victims and ultimately introducing them to cryptocurrency investments which will show quick profits and gains, enticing them to invest more,” Mutota said.

The police raided six houses in the Auasblick, Kleine Kuppe and Klein Windhoek areas of Windhoek and offices in the Shapumba Towers building in the city as part of a sting operation.

Parliamentarian Inna Hengari, political activist Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma

AMUSHELELO

On 21 March, demonstrators protesting high unemployment rates in Namibia were allegedly pushed around and manhandled by the Namibian Police’s Special Reserve Force on their way home after the police dispersed the crowd.

Others, including prominent political activist Michael Amushelelo, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and parliamentarian Inna Hengari, were arrested. After being arrested, Hengari was held in custody for three days before she was granted bail in an amount of N$5 000. These charges were later withdrawn.

Amushelelo was detained for months following the protest and his legal team alleged that the police subjected him to solitary confinement.

In October, Amushelelo and Nauyoma were found not guilty on the three charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and incitement of public violence.
CHAINED GIRL

On 25 April, Johannes Kanime (94) and his partner Ndeshihafela Immanuel (56) appeared in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court on charges of child abuse. They had allegedly been abusing their nine-year-old granddaughter by chaining her to a tree at Otambo ya Kawali village in the Omuntele constituency of the Oshikoto region.

CHILD ABUSE VIDEO

In August, a mother was caught on camera physically abusing her six-year-old child in Windhoek’s Greenwell Matongo area.

The video, which showed the mother mercilessly beating and choking her child as she cries for help, quickly went viral.

The woman was charged with assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, according to court documents.

GIRLFRIEND THROAT CUTTER

On the evening of 30 September, Eenhana entrepreneur Laurence Kapule Ndaoya allegedly slit his girlfriend, Eva-Lena Kalimbo’s, throat and stabbed her in the back at the Eveline residential area of Eenhana.
“The next thing we hear is that she was dead and in the most horrid and cowardly manner. That man slaughtered our sister as though he was killing a goat. No, no… that’s just horrific,” said a family member at the time.

Later on the Sunday morning at around 03h29, the police tracked Ndaoya down at a house behind the Eenhana hospital.

He was subsequently shot and killed by the police.

Dalton

DALTON

A family was left distraught when they found out that their beloved pet was stolen and killed for meat by three strangers on 13 June at Rehoboth.

Mavourneen Busch, a Rehoboth resident, reported her dog Dalton missing, posting on social media in an effort to find him.

“He was my baby. He was a part of our family. He would have been eight years with us this month,” Busch said.

At around 19h00 on 16 June, Busch received a text message saying her dog was spotted walking on a leash alongside three men behind a cemetery at a nearby settlement.

She immediately drove to the area where her dog was last seen.

That is when she and her husband drove to a popular place at Rehoboth where dogs are slaughtered for their meat. However, they did not find Dalton there.

While at the same place, a boy asked the couple if they were looking for a dog, because he had seen a dog being killed.

The boy then took them to a house where Dalton’s head was found in a bag and his remains on a kapana braai stand.

Busch and her husband contacted the police, and two suspects – Ricardo Kastoor and Teodor Itembu – were arrested and charged with theft and animal cruelty.

The death of a beloved furry friend stirred an uproar in the country over the rights of animals and those who choose to eat them.

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