20 March 2019

Namibia: Woman Allegedly Bites City Cop's Finger

Three women were arrested at the Okuryangava informal settlement on Monday after one of them allegedly bit a Windhoek City Police officer's finger as he tried to demolish a shack, and another tried to take pictures of the melee.

It is not clear what offence the third woman committed. The three women cannot be named as they are yet to appear in court.

Windhoek City Police senior superintendent Nathaniel Nendongo yesterday told The Namibian that the officer whose finger was bitten has been hospitalised. He declined to identify the officer.

He said a group of people, including the three women, tried to interfere with a police operation which involved the removal of a shack in Okuryangava.

"They tried to obstruct the officers, and to fight them. One of our officers is now in hospital after he was bitten by one of the women," he explained.

Nendongo said the suspects are currently being detained at the Wanaheda Police Station, and will be charged with assault and obstructing the police from executing their lawful duties.

When The Namibian visited the police holding cells on Monday, one of the suspects, who appeared to have sustained an injury on her knees, said police officers had assaulted and kicked her when she tried to run away.

She said she was arrested for trying to take pictures of the shack demolition.

"I told them that I didn't know that I was not allowed to take pictures, but they came to me very fast. I freaked out and attempted to run, and that's when they assaulted me," she stated.

She, however, could not finish relating her story as police officers promptly took her to her cell.

According to her husband, who can also not be named, and who is the brother of the other two women, the shack in question belonged to two sisters, who had called his wife for help when police arrived.

"They could just have taken her phone and simply deleted the pictures," he said.

He added that his wife was specifically arrested for taking pictures of the incident, and his two sisters for disobeying City Police orders to dismantle the shack.

"They were going to remove the shack; it's just that the people who were coming to do the job did not come early," the man said.

His sisters had been told to remove the shack when they built it a week ago, and they agreed to dismantle it on Monday, but failed to do so because the police came before they could demolish it.

Nendongo, however, denied that the shack belonged to the women, and said the owner had cooperated with the police until it was dismantled.

"People should start telling the media the truth about what happened," he noted.

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