By: Julia Heita
The bail application ruling of two of the ‘China Town 8′, Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, will be heard next Tuesday in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate Masule Kwizi will deliver the ruling.
Amushelelo and Nauyoma face charges ranging from public violence, incitement and assault by threat. The two had been battling for bail after their arrest last week. Nauyoma and Amushelelo were arrested in connection with the shutting down of China Town last week, following the Namibia Revenue Agency’s (Namra) decision to burn N$ 5 million worth of counterfeit goods.
Today, state prosecutor Arrie Husselmann submitted his final submission against the bail application of the two men.
Husselmann based his argument on the seriousness of the case, stating that the allegations against the applicants are that as per state witness Warrant Officer Lisias Nakanyala.
Nakanyala, while testifying in the bail application, had opposed bail for the two saying it is not in the public’s interest and the administration of justice.
According to the witness statements obtained by Nakanyala, Amushelelo, together with about 50 to 100 supporters or followers, went to China Town in the Northern Industrial area, where they started to close down the shops owned mainly by Chinese nationals.
“He threatened several shop owners that they should open their shops again. He will burn it down together with them,” the prosecutor reads the testimony of Nakanyala.
Husselmann said that on 13 May 2022 morning, Amushelelo handed himself over to the police at the Windhoek police station, and he was arrested.
“Upon his arrest, Nauyoma organised an illegal gathering at China Town whereby they demanded the release of Amushelelo,” he said.
Amushelelo last Thursday went to China Town in Windhoek, demanding that the Chinese nationals close their shops as they too are selling fake items.
The following morning, he handed himself over to the Windhoek police station. He demanded that he be handcuffed after Police Chief Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said Amushelelo should hand himself over to the police for inciting violence and threatening.
According to Nakanyala and the witness statements he obtained, Nauyoma was requested by commissioner Natal Sakaria to disperse the illegal gathering within five minutes.
“He, however, ignored that instruction and the time that the five minutes lapsed, he instructed his followers not to disperse but to sit down.”
Husselman said only Nauyoma and accused three to seven refused and were arrested.
“The applicants did not follow the correct procedure to hold a demonstration,” he added.
Husselmann further based his argument on the pair’s risk of committing further offences.
He also touched on the pending cases the two have.
“Amushelelo has a pending case in the High Court of Namibia involving more than three hundred charges, including fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion,” he said.
He added that Nauyoma was convicted of culpable homicide.
“He also does have a pending case in the Magistrates Court where he is charged with an offence under proclamation A 21 of 1985.”
Husselmann further said the State feels that they might commit similar offences, as stated by Nakanyala, and that they said they are not going to stop unless there is compliance with their demands.
Last Friday, Nauyoma and others went to China Town to demand the shops’ closure. They also protested for the release of Amushelelo, leading to police reserve officials using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Now known as the “China Town 8”, the arrested persons are Amushelelo, Nauyoma, Epafrass Mukwiilongo, Laurence Mwatile, Emily Mununga Annacky Amupanda, Risto Ithikwa and Julieta Amushelelo. Except for Nauyoma and Amushelelo, they were all released from police custody on a warning. The ‘China Town 8’ case will resume on 5 July.