The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Family Wants Independent Probe Into Death

THE family of a teenager who died under mysterious circumstances a few hours after his release from police custody has requested an independent investigation into his death.

Marcelinus 'Tony' Katzao, a Grade 12 pupil at Suiderlig High School, died Thursday morning in the Katutura State Hospital.

The family said doctors told them that there was bleeding on his brain caused by a heavy blow to his head.

Hours after his release a following his arrest on February 1 for allegedly obstructing the police in the execution of their duties near Remember Inn bar in the Tseiblaagte, Katzao slipped into a coma at a house in the Krönlein residential area.

According to bystanders, the police allegedly handcuffed Katzao and threw him into the back of the police van.

Earlier, Karas Police Commissioner Armas Shivute said Katzao was drunk when arrested, and was held at the police station for several hours until he was sober and then released.

The chief of police, Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, yesterday confirmed the Katzao family's request of an independent probe into the death of their son.

According to Ndeitunga, an investigating team headed by the police legal advisor Sendi Isaacs was appointed to investigate the cause of Katzao's death.

"At this moment there are various versions about the death. Fingers are pointed here and there, also to the police. We have to wait and see the outcome of the investigation," said Ndeitunga.

Meanwhile, Lucky Katzao, on behalf of the Katzao family, has distanced the family from allegations of police brutality made by another family member.

"We never authorised anyone to make such statements on behalf of the Katzao family. The Katzao family will remain guided by the ongoing police investigation and subsequent prosecution," said Katzao.

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