18 December 2012

Namibia: Opuwo Police Accused of Ignoring Woman

AN OPUWO resident, Otillie Haufiku, is accusing the police of being reluctant to open a case against a Chinese businessman.

According to Haufiku, she and her boyfriend arrived at Club Diplomata, which belongs to the businessman, on November 23 and sat outside on the balcony.

She says the owner came to where they were sitting, took off the hat she was wearing and told her that she was beautiful. "He also rubbed my face and said he wanted me to be his girlfriend."

They just laughed it off and the man walked away, she says.

Soon afterwards, the man returned, stood behind her and allegedly started fondling her breasts. He allegedly also told her that he wanted a Namibian girlfriend and a baby with a Namibian woman. "I pushed him away."

According to her, he returned again, sat next to her and put his hands between her legs.

Her boyfriend then stood up and grabbed the Chinese businessman by the neck. "He also slapped the Chinese and beat him with his fists."

She says the two men started fighting "until the Chinese fell down. He got up, took a stone and hit my boyfriend on the leg."

Her boyfriend then took a bottle and threw it at the Chinese businessman which cut his hand.

She and her boyfriend decided to go to the police and report the Chinese man's behaviour. "Even though my boyfriend fought with him, it was sexual harassment and he started it."

But, according to her, the police told them that they could not open a case against the man as he and her boyfriend were involved in a fight.

The incident has since brought about relationship trouble for her and her boyfriend. According to her, he has accused her of having an affair with the Chinese businessman. He also allegedly broke her cellphone and physically attacked her. "The Chinese man has brought much damage in my life."

Upon inquiry, a police officer at the town, who is familiar with the incident, said: "The charge was not refused."

In fact, it was established that Haufiku had a warrant of arrest pending in Eenhana and was arrested on the spot when she came to report the incident.

However, she is still welcome to lay a charge of indecent assault, he said. "We don't have a problem at all."

The police officer asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Neither the police officer nor Haufiku had any contact details for the Chinese businessman.

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