Namibia: Anker Police Accused of Assault

ELIFAS Richter (21) claims he was assaulted by officers at the Anker Police Station with a gun after being accused of selling dagga on Saturday.

He says he and his sister, Hildegard (28) were walking home after an event when a police officer grabbed the bag he was carrying.

Officers then took Richter and his sister to a nearby house to search the bag.

"After searching the bag we were taken to the police station. They found nothing inside the bag," Richter claims.

At the Anker Police Station Richter says he asked why they were taken there, at which station commander Robert Neumbo struck him in the face with his firearm.

"The station commander hit me with the gun. I was handcuffed and there was no way I could cover my face," he claims.

He alleges that constable Tobias Mwandingi joined Neumbo in assaulting him.

"They took turns. They hit my stomach, neck and above the buttocks with the backside of the gun," Richter claims.

Hildegard says she told two female police officers if they beat her, she would take legal action against them.

"I warned them not to beat me. I told them I would take further steps, so they just stood and watched while their colleagues were beating my brother. I was not beaten," Hildegard says.

After the incident, the siblings were driven to farm Soetpos where their mother resides, they say.

The police searched the farmhouse, but could not find any dagga, Richter says, after which they left.

The siblings say they went to a local clinic on Sunday, since Richter was unable to urinate.

The clinic nurse told Richter to obtain a J88 form from the Anker Police Station on which clinic staff is to record injuries and treatment.

Richter says the police officer on duty at the time refused to provide the form.

The siblings then proceeded to the Kamanjab Police Station where they obtained the relevant form, upon which they went to the Kamanjab health centre for medical attention.

Richter says he was taken to the Outjo District Hospital due to being unable to urinate after the alleged police assault.

He says he opened cases against Neumbo and Mwandingi on Monday.

On Thursday he said he was only able to urinate properly from Tuesday, and his hands were still sore.

On Sunday, Neumbo told The Namibian he was aware of two people being handcuffed and taken to the police station on Saturday, but was, however, not aware of police officers beating Richter.

Neumbo denied assaulting Richter himself, saying they were tipped off that the siblings were selling dagga.

"The things (dagga) were hidden before we came, according to our informants," Neumbo said.

He said the station only has one J88 form and would have made copies on Monday.

Regional crime investigations coordinator for the Kunene region deputy commissioner Rudolf Kanyetu on Tuesday confirmed that a case of common assault was opened by Richter at the Anker Police Station.

"The case was opened. It will be investigated, however, I cannot divulge much," Kanyetu said.

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