By: Hertha Ekandjo
A security guard from the Cheetah Cement factory was accidentally killed by his colleague during a gun exchange.
Police spokesperson of the Otjozondjupa region Maureen Mbeha revealed this.
The incident happened around 18h00 as the two were exchanging shifts on Friday night at the factory a few kilometres outside Otjiwanrongo.
The 23-year-old security guard employed by Amon Protection Services was shot by his colleague during a gun handover after his shift ended.
“The deceased was identified as Jose Albano Samba,” said Mbeha.
Mbeha told The Villager that Samba knocked off and handed over the work firearm to his colleague, who came to relieve him of his duty and resumed work when the firearm allegedly went off. The bullet ended up in the deceased’s stomach.
“The deceases was then rushed to Otjiwarango state hospital, where he was transferred to Windhoek for further treatment. He allegedly succumbed on his way to Windhoek,” she said.
According to Mbeha, the police were informed about the incident around 20h50 that Friday night. When the police arrived at the scene, the suspect was still on duty.
She added that the suspect was arrested and appeared in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s court on Monday.
According to Mbeha, the Cheetah Cement factory is still closed, and the only workers who are still at the factory are the security guards guarding the factory.
According to the police, they had no choice but to arrest the suspect.
The labour ministry had shut down Cheetah Cement outside Otjiwarongo last Tuesday after finding that it did not comply with the health and safety regulations.
The factory’s closure was allegedly caused by the incident of some employees that lost their fingers at the workplace between March and April this year.
At that time, the ministry’s executive director Lydia Indombo said the plant’s closure followed inspections on 3 March. However, the company had made no improvements to date.
Indombo, last week, said that employees are not provided with suitable personal protective equipment such as hearing protection for excavator operators, kidney belts for back support, face masks designed for mining operations where excessive dust is evident, and lighting in the mining area a spotter works in total darkness.
Indombo had stated that cheetah cement failed to provide adequate sanitary conveniences and canteens to employees and failed to provide first aid emergency arrangements.
She had also said that Cheetah Cement had failed to provide employees with the necessary information and training to work safely and without a risk to their health.