Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

15 February 2013

Namibia: Thank You for the Release of the 45 Caprivi Detainees

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The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) in its quest to demand the release of the Caprivi detainees and bring to justice those found guilty has thus far [borne] fruit. The RDP welcomes the release of 45 innocent former detainees after the High Court found them not guilty.

Time and again, RDP has appealed to the Government, under Swapo rule, to prosecute and/or bring the case to finality should the courts find the detainees not guilty. We have repeatedly pointed out that it is difficult to find such a large number (initially over 100) of people guilty. What sense does it make to keep people in prison for more than ten years and eventually find them not guilty? What benefit did the Namibian Government gain from these 45 innocent detainees?

RDP does neither condone secessionist ideology nor entertain summarily arrests and imprisonment of innocent citizens as is the case with the 45 Caprivi detainees. Peace and harmony that we are striving for cannot be achieved under suspicious circumstances. The arbitrary arrest of innocent citizens, as is the case with the 45 Caprivi detainees, poses a serious challenge not only to the security apparatus but also to the judiciary.

It is hoped that this case will serve as a serious lesson to the appointing authority in particular and the judiciary system in general to improve its performance and avoid embarrassment and unnecessary delays in the adjudication of cases. After all, justice delayed is justice denied, like in this case where innocent people had to sit in jail for 13 and half years.

The Ministry of Safety and Security is called upon to embark on training and re-training of its detectives to avoid innocent people getting arrested and incarcerated for an unknown period of time. Ignorance compounded with incompetence and perhaps arrogance will cost the Government millions and millions of tax-payer's money in terms of feeding, upkeep and eventually compensation. It is a big loss to the state and those responsible should not be allowed [to go] scot-free next time round.

Namibia as a Nation is in a development stage and as such it requires a well-trained, competent, skilled and professional workforce in order not only to cut costs but also to avoid embarrassment in the final analysis. RDP is calling upon all Namibian citizens to be truthful and avoid telling lies and or enhance deceit and betrayal. The truth will set us free.

Together We Can Do Better!

Jeremiah Nambinga

RDP Secretary for Information and Publicity

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