By: Hertha Ekandjo
A 36 years old man, Simon Noppie Kambindu, escaped the Windhoek correctional facility on Sunday morning.
According to the Namibian Correctional Services spokesperson, Commissioner Sam Shaalulange, Kambindu escaped the facility from unit 4 by climbing the facility wall.
“I think that there were no officers in the unit at the time of escape. Kambindu cut the wall fence in order for him to escape. Investigations still continue on what he used to cut the fence,” says Shaalulange.
Kambindu was serving a sentence of 51 years imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to steal, assault with grievous bodily harm, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of drugs. Kambindu is said to be from the Okakarara and Otjiwarongo areas.
Shaalulange added that should Kambindu bring any harm to the public, Kambindu himself will be held accountable for his own actions. He further said investigations are ongoing to see what transpired, and preventative measures will be put in to help prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents.
This is not the first incident in which the police have wrongfully released an inmate. A similar incident occurred last year at the Mariental correctional facility after officers mistakenly released an inmate due to a mix-up of names.
A murder accused inmate Lukas Josef walked scott-free on 23 April 2022 from the police holding cells in Walvis Bay after presenting false information to officers who then released him.
The prison officials released Bernadus Khariseb instead of Bernadus Gariseb.
On 08 March 2022, an inmate was said to have escaped police custody at the Gibeon police station after he and two other inmates assaulted a police officer, bit him on the hand, and tied his legs.
This happened when the officer on duty went alone to the holding cells to allow the inmates to collect their laundry from the washing line.
Another incident was reported in November 2019, where 12 inmates escaped the Menias Brian Libuto police station’s holding cell in Kongola, Zambezi Region. This escape happened after the inmates overpowered the officer who was on duty.
Adding to the list is the 2020 April prison break that happened at the Divundu Correctional Facility. This was said to have occurred after four inmates overpowered an officer, took the keys to the cell, jumped the facility and fled.