11 September 2012

Namibia: Cops Seize Knives and Ombike From School

Oshakati — Members of the Oshana Police acting on a tip-off from concerned teachers confiscated an arsenal of knives, knobkerries, screwdrivers, and other metals and wooden objects sharpened into dangerous weapons from Nuuyoma Senior Secondary School learners suspected of gangsterism.

Gangsterism at the troubled school is so rife that students have partitioned the hostels into "no-go areas", where there could be ghastly consequences for trespassing learners and other intruders

Apart from the weapons, bottles of alcohol including ombike - a transparent but highly potent homemade brew - and cell-phones were also confiscated from the pupils.

Nuuyoma and other government schools do not allow the use of cell-phones at school and in most cases learners are required to leave their cell-phones with their teachers and only collect them when they go for school holidays or out over weekends, from the hostels.

"But these learners have opted to violate and disregard school rules," said Oshana Police Regional Commander Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa.

According to Kashihakumwa, the weapons were confiscated from at least 500 pupils of over 600 learners from Nuuyoma Senior Secondary School.

"They are behaving like inmates in police cells," he said.

Police were prompted to search the school on the school principal's request. Although there was no major violence reported at the school, Kashihakumwa said cases of school boys beating up school girls or boys fighting amongst themselves are frequent at the school.

"There is even a no-go area between the boys' hostel blocks that they (learners) have named Baghdad. If a learner goes to that area it means he is inviting a fight," said Kashihakumwa.

On top of that, misbehaviour among learners is allegedly a common practice during this time of the year, mostly amongst Grade 12 learners, thus the school principal had a strong suspicion that learners were keeping weapons at the hostels.

Kashihakumwa said a similar search has been conducted at various schools in the region, however, Nuuyoma Senior Secondary School broke a record in terms of the number of weapons found at the school.

Some of the weapons, mostly knives, were also found on girls, and according to the regional commander police were informed that some of the boys had given their knives to the girls to hide them during the police search.

"We are warning Nuuyoma and other schools, or people who carry weapons that may pose a danger to the lives of others that next time we'll confiscate them and the law will take its course. Parents should also assist teachers in teaching their children about good behaviour," said Kashihakumwa.

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