Reservist under investigation over GBV

Ogone Tlhage
A police reservist who was filmed assaulting a woman - allegedly his pregnant girlfriend - outside a popular Windhoek nightspot will be placed under investigation. Identified as 26-year-old Valentino Endjala, he can be seen roughly dragging the woman around in a video circulated widely on social media - despite pleas from the girlfriend and another woman - seemingly her cousin - for him to leave them alone. In the clip, Endjala's girlfriend begs: "Leave me alone, Valentino. You're hurting me!", to which he responds: "Yes, I'll hurt you". According to Namibian Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi, no criminal cases have been opened. "But because the suspect is a reservist who operates under the Police Act and mandate, the police conduct investigation (PCI) sub-division has the mandate to investigate," she added. Preliminary investigations into the matter found that Endjala and the unidentified woman in the video were in a long-term relationship, that she is pregnant with his child, and that another man had asked her out - which allegedly enraged Endjala. At the time of the incident, he reportedly wanted to talk to his girlfriend, but a third party interfered, which led to the pushing and pulling as seen in the video, Shikwambi said. “As a police force, we take any form of violence seriously, and therefore the investigation is currently underway." 'Disgraceful' Meanwhile, the Landless People's Movement’s (LPM) youth and student command yesterday released a statement condemning Endjala's actions. The group labelled the incident “a disgraceful episode that not only disgusts our community, but underscores the deeply distressing normalisation of gender-based violence [GBV] within the police force”. The youth and student command said the matter "necessitates an unequivocal and unrelenting response", and demanded that Endjala be suspended for the duration of the investigation, and subsequently be dismissed based on its findings.