Twenty-one shacks destroyed in one week

WALVIS BAY Residents dish out mob justice.

10 December 2018 | Crime

Afraim Kathindi; Acting municipal fire chief; “. . . only when it’s out of control, we call the fire brigade. ”

Leandrea Louw - Community members took justice into their own hands and attacked two men suspected of burning down 11 shacks and a house, and causing damages to another house.

Two weeks ago a case of arson was opened at the Kuisebmond police station after two houses, along with 11 shacks burned to the ground. Fortunately no one was injured in the incident.

A public meeting was held with the municipality, Erongo Red, the fire brigade and the police about the unfortunate incident.

Regional police commander Andreas Nelumbu reprimanded the community members and told them not to take justice in their own hands after they assaulted the two suspected arsonists.

This angered the attendees, prompting the majority of them to walk out.

A lady living near the area where the fire took place, became extremely emotional while narrating her story of noticing a man walking with a can of fuel, which she report to the police.

“The police did nothing after I reported this information to them. How are we supposed to trust the police to take care of us when they didn’t even take me serious?

Nelumnu responded: “If the police officers do not take you serious, go to the station commander. If he cannot help you, you come to me. I am there for you, 24/7.”

Another women passionately demanded that the police or the government set aside funds to reward people who come forward with information about crime.

Acting fire chief Efraim Kathindi called on the meeting attendees not to try and fight fires on their own.

“At this specific fire, only one lady had the fire brigade’s number. We have the tendency to extinguish the fires on our own, and only when it’s out of control, we call the fire brigade. Call us immediately. ”

He also brought up the issue of big crowds gathering at fire scenes.

“This hampers the fire brigade to effectively extinguish fires. This also destroys evidence at the scene. People should also refrain of removing things which don’t belong to them from scenes where fires are raging.”

Erongo Red cautioned residents that illegal electricity connections shouldn’t be an option, as a faulty wire can easily cause a fire.

According to Nelumbu only one case of arson has been opened by one of the owners whose house was damaged in the fire.

“Although 11 ghettos were razed in the fire, only one case of arson was opened. We’re hoping more people come forward to open cases of arson.

Approximately 21 shacks have been destroyed by fires from 21 to 26 November.

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