The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Firebrand Beukes Faces Probe

A COMPLAINT about a tribalistic remark which a Windhoek-based political activist, labour consultant and lay litigant, Hewat Beukes, allegedly made to police officers at the High Court in Windhoek has been referred to the police for investigation.

The registrar of the High Court forwarded statements about the remark allegedly made by Beukes to the inspector general of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, late last week with a request that the matter should be investigated. The allegations are regarded in a serious light and action should be taken if they are found to be true, Ndeitunga was informed.

A combative Beukes yesterday denied having made the remark in question. He indicated that he is ready to deal with whatever might be coming his way.

Three police officers who are working as court orderlies at the High Court complained that Beukes had made a tribally offensive remark to them during an adjournment in one of the courtrooms on January 18.

The orderlies were so upset by the remark that they made written statements about their interaction with Beukes afterwards.

They are claiming that he told them, in Afrikaans: "Wat maak julle Wambo's hier, julle behoort in Wamboland." ("What are you Wambos doing here, you belong in Wamboland.")

That was after Beukes, apparently dissatisfied with their presence in court, had told the orderlies, after they had told them that they were present to ensure order in the courtroom, that he had fought for the liberation of Namibia and that he had a right to be present in court as well.

"I did not say those things," Beukes said yesterday.

"Such crude s**t I don't say. I've never said it."

Beukes said on the day of the alleged incident he had asked the court orderlies why there were so many police officers present in court, and if their presence was meant to intimidate him and his colleagues who were also in the courtroom. They reacted rudely and made a reference to the Baster people, he claimed, and he then told them "they should go and keep their law and order in Oshakati, not here".

According to Beukes, he is a socialist and an internationalist, and tribalism is not part of his personal makeup.

"The entire Namibia's working class are my comrades," he said.

"I fought for this country to become a proper country. Not this rubbish I encounter every day," he fumed.

Turning his ire to Government, he charged: "They are bloody tribalists. They infest the whole country with their tribalism."

His opinion of the police, and for the entire state as an institution, is not much better, Beukes indicated.

"I have contempt for this police," he continued. "I have contempt for this state."

He added: "This is a treacherous state which sold out this entire nation."

Beukes has repeatedly launched vituperative - and often defamatory - attacks on Namibia's judiciary in recent years. He said yesterday that he dares the authorities to take him to court over those remarks he had made about the judiciary.

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