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Police officer pleads guilty to assault

Mon, 2 November 2015 15:44
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba

A member of the Namibian Police, Joel Silvanus, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last week.

Silvanus admitted that he assaulted the complainant, but said it was all in a bid to subdue him and keep him from hurting other people.

By his own account, the accused told the court that he was walking home on 28 September 2013, still clad in his uniform but off-duty, when he was approached by complainant Matheus Nango.

Nango told him that he had been robbed and had called the City Police officials, but they were yet to make an appearance.

He requested that the accused accompany him to confront the robber because he knew who he was and where he was. They went to a place near the complainant’s bar, where the alleged robber was sitting with his head in his hands.

After trying to engage the unresponsive robber, the police officer recognised him as a mentally unstable member of the community. He thus advised that the complainant rather open a case at the police station.

Nango became upset, started accusing the suspect of refusing to do his job and pulled a gun he had from its holster.

In doing so, the magazine fell out, and Silvanus confiscated the gun while the complainant picked up the magazine.

He then told the complainant to accompany him to the satellite police station at the Single Quarters. But when they arrived there, the complainant tried to grab the gun back from him.

Silvanus said he shoved him and told him (the complainant) to pick his gun up from the Katutura police station.

Silvanus maintained that he was merely trying to protect a helpless and mentally ill man from any harm.

The case was postponed to 30 October for the continuation of trial, and the accused was released on a warning.