friday the 13th turned out to be indeed an unlucky day for a group of youth who say some NamPol officers in two cars battered them over a Bible which they mistook for a deadly weapon.
Windhoek Station Commander-in-Chief, Robert Sanjahi confirmed the beating which took place along Omoongo Street in Freedom Square section of Katutura.
Tjitjindua Kandee, 21, sustained a broken tooth while Otja Mbapaha, 22, received slaps and punches.
Kandee says the police officers on night patrol caught them while they were coming from church and mistook a Bible one of them was carrying for a weapon.
“We were coming from an evening prayer meeting in church and since it was already dark, we decided to escort a female church member who lives in town to the main road to get a taxi.
“As soon as she was gone, two police cars stopped in front of us and before we could comprehend what was happening, armed officers jumped out. My friends and I tried to escape but they caught up with us and started beating us up,” Kandee explains adding that he was beaten on the mouth with a baton stick.
The beating, he further says, came when he was trying to tell the officers that he was carrying a Bible not a weapon under his jacket.
“While I was getting beaten, five of my friends including two girls were also being physically harassed. I fell onto the ground and the officer continued kicking me until the Bible dropped. When he realised it was a Bible and not a weapon, he stopped. He didn’t even apologise. He just told me to go to the hospital when he saw the blood on my face,” claims Kandee.
Mbapaha says he was punched in the stomach and slapped on the face by male and female officers.
“It was as though they had found us at a crime scene, or intoxicated. And even if that had been the case, what they did to us cannot even be done to someone found drunk on the street,” adds Mbapaha.
According to him, the other officers who did not get out of the cars to engage in the assault roared with laughter while the beating was going on.
“The rest laughed as the girls were being kicked and having their earrings ripped off. Now we want justice. We went to see the officers-in-charge to have the situation investigated. They took our details and promised to get back to us,” said Mbapaha.
The victims gave statements to the police at the Central Police Station but were, however, unable to lay charges until the culprits are identified.
“I have spoken to the guys. They have given us as much information as possible. We will help the relevant department look into the matter. I believe we will bring the perpetrators to book,” Sanjahi has confirmed.