8 June 2012

Namibia: Ben Amadhila Attacked At Home

FORMER Minister Ben Amadhila had to receive medical treatment on Wednesday afternoon after robbers broke into his house and attacked him.

His granddaughter, who was with him during the robbery, had to stay in the Roman Catholic Hospital overnight after she suffered an asthma attack during the robbery.

Amadhila, who is a member of the National Assembly, sustained injuries to his arms and a deep cut to one of his hands and had to get X-rayed to determine whether any bones were broken.

He was getting ready for Wednesday's session of Parliament when three unidentified men broke into his Olympia home through a window. He said the robbers broke the window burglar bars to gain entry.

"After they gained entry, they went to the living room, disconnected the television and put it on a chair with plans to pick it up after they had gone through the whole house. They went through several rooms in the house and in one of them, they found my granddaughter whom they threatened to keep quiet or otherwise they would harm her. They also choked her during that time," said Amadhila.

He said he was in his bedroom and heard footsteps in the corridor.

"When I opened my door, I was confronted by these guys who were carrying tools including screwdrivers and crowbars which they obviously used to break into the house," he said.

Amadhila said he tried to defend himself when the robbers entered his room and attacked him.

"I was trying to fight them off. I knocked one of them down and the other one instructed his friend to hit me on the head with a crowbar. I blocked the one with the crowbar and instead of hitting me on the head he hit me on my arm and cut my hand," he said.

Amadhila said the robbers eventually fled with two cellphones and laptop computers.

When The Namibian spoke to Amadhila yesterday, he was at home and doing well.

"At the hospital, they did an X-ray and told me no bones were broken," he said.

His granddaughter, a University of Namibia law student, has since been released from hospital.

Namibian Police Inspector Kauna Shikwambi yesterday said that a case of housebreaking and theft has been opened against the three men who still remain at large.

"No one has been arrested yet in connection with the robbery, however Police investigations continue," said Shikwambi.

She urged anyone with information on the case to come forward. She also urged the public to remain cautious and to know all Police emergency numbers by heart in case of incidents like this one.

Meanwhile, City Police Senior Superintendent Gerry Shikesho has said Police statistics reveal that cases of housebreaking increase dramatically during winter as this is the time when most people are indoors and there's minimal movement on the streets.

"We advise people from now on to lock their doors at all times - don't just close them, lock them. If you hear any suspicious movements, don't hesitate to SMS us on 4444 with details of your street name and house number," he said.

Crime is on the increase in Namibia, according to statistics.

'The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia', a publication by the Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID) and the Human Rights and Documentation Centre (HRDC), states that in 2007, a total of 87 675 offences were reported to the Police. The same publication reports that in 2008, that number stood at 92 658.

"During 2009, 99 128 crimes were reported to the Namibian Police force. In addition, some 137 015 others were brought forward from previous years," reads the report.

Last year, the World Bank reported that organised and commercial crime, varying from car theft to diamond smuggling and card fraud, cost Namibia nearly N$56 million.

According to Police figures, cars worth N$26,2 million were stolen in the country last year.

The World Bank was quoted as saying that "crime in Namibia is strongly connected with its geographic position between Angola and South Africa and the strong cultural and historical relations with both countries that date back to the pre-independence era."

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