New Era (Windhoek)

28 January 2013

Namibia: Suspected Schoolboy Kidnapper Arrested

Oshakati — A young man was arrested last week after he allegedly chased after and kidnapped a schoolboy from Okatana Primary School in Oshakati.

The man was in the company of two other young men who were passengers in a red Toyota pick-up he was driving. Knobkerries and rocks were also found in the vehicle when the suspect was arrested by the police. The two other suspects got away.

A group of children from Omhumbu location in Oshakati were coming from school when they allegedly saw a vehicle that belongs to a former mayor of Oshakati, driving after them.

The children ran away in all directions but the suspects managed to catch one of them and bundled him in the bakkie, before he was physically assaulted with their hands. The suspects then drove after two other boys.

But they drove through a muddy oshana and the vehicle got stuck.

Community members who witnessed the incident informed the police about a red vehicle chasing after schoolchildren. When the suspects saw the police coming, they allegedly fled on foot, abandoning their vehicle. Police however managed to arrest the driver who is a former mayor's relative.

The driver claimed the boys crushed bottles on the earth road and that was the reason he was chasing after them. He would however not tell what he wanted to do with the boys or why he was carrying knobkerries and stones in the vehicle.

Irate community members from Omhumbu settlement who gathered at the scene where the bakkie was found, claimed that it was not the first time their children have been chased after by a red pick-up.

"Normally the children would just walk through oshanas because that is the shortcut to school, but nowadays they refuse to take that path because they say they are being chased after by a red bakkie on their way to or from school. They now opt to walk along the main road which is a the longer route," said one of the parents.

A nine-year-old boy was rescued and two seven-year-old boys were found a few kilometres from Oshakati. The children were allegedly still running in fear.

Oshana Police regional spokesperson Sergeant Aiyambo said the suspect would be taken to the police station where he will be questioned and possibly be charged.

Two other suspects are still at large.

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