Angry mob attacks police station

Three police officers injured

01 August 2020 | Crime

Inspector Ileni Shampuba; NamPol; “…some used their vehicles to transport stones that were to be used in the execution of the attack.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]


The law will catch up with all those involved in an attack on Mondesa police station last night (Friday), says the regional commander of community affairs, inspector Ileni Shapumba.

Three police officers sustained moderate injuries and windows were smashed with stones during the attack orchestrated by an angry mob. They also damaged a police vehicle as well as private property belonging to residents who live near the Mondesa police station.

The special reserve force was called in to help control the situation. They had to fire warning shots to force the enraged crowd to disperse. Nobody from the public was injured.

Fifteen people have already been arrested in connection with malicious damage to state property as well as instigating public violence.

Shapumba issued a strong warning to members of the public who were part of the mob which destroyed property and injured police officials.

“The instigators who transported residents from different parts of Mondesa to damage state property will be dealt with accordingly. It is unacceptable that certain people are instigating residents and issuing threats to burn down the police station rather than just damaging windows.”

Trigger

Shapumba said that the attacked happened after the police arrested a 34-year-old man who contravened state of emergency regulations which are being enforced as part of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“A group of people gathered at a certain house and were suspected to have been consuming alcohol. Our security clusters, which consists of police officers and members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), responded to the complaint.”

Upon their arrival, the police informed the home owner that what was taking place at the property, was in contravention of regulation 6 of the lockdown.

“The property owner was subsequently instructed to tell his friends to leave. In the process, a fight erupted between the officials and the home owner. He attacked the officials,” Shapumpa said.

The property owner was arrested and taken to the police station to be charged with the contravention of a lockdown regulation as well as obstructing police officials in the execution of their duties.

In this time, a mob gathered and approached the police station, demanding that the person who was arrested be released.

“Something like this has never happened in Swakopmund before. Officials tried reasoning with the mob, while residents from different parts of Mondesa mobilised themselves. People used their vehicles to transport others from different parts of Mondesa to the police station while some used their vehicles to transport stones that were to be used in the execution of the attack.”

Demands

The chanting mob demanded that their friend be released. They also said that they wanted to be given houses as promised by the head of state, President Hage Geingob and demanded that the lockdown be lifted.

“It’s hard to understand the connection between what happened at the house and the statements they were chanting. We want to remind the public that if at all there are issues that need to be solved, they should follow the established procedures in doing so.”

Shapumba also reminded members of the public that if someone is arrested, it means such a person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

“It is not up to a mob to come and demand that the person be released. It is totally unacceptable. Allow us to do our work. The state and public property that you are damaging is crucial in rendering a critical service that you as a citizen should get from the state. When you damage state property like that, you are actually wronging yourself.”

According to an eye-witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the police did not explain why they were arresting the 34-year old home owner.

“They felt the police should not have come into their home in the manner that they did. The community is angry about the extended lockdown announced by the president. They said the police are just arresting people for no reason. They followed the police to the police station and then all hell broke loose after they started throwing stones,” the witness said.

The home owner and the 15 others who were arrested, will make their first appearance before the Swakopmund Magistrate Court on Monday.

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