Namibia: Business Manager, Son Arrested During Fire

Walvis Bay — While firefighters were battling the blaze that engulfed Magic Discounters in Walvis Bay yesterday, the shop's manager, Martin Cordier and his son Giandre Cordier were arrested and charged.

The arrests followed an altercation that ensued between Giandre and Special Reserve Force officers, who allegedly tried to stop him from crossing over to the fire scene that was cordoned off.

Giandre was earlier sitting on the pavement within the cordoned-off area with his father while firefighters were extinguishing the fire.

According to the community affairs commander, Ileni Shapumba, Giandre, who also did not wear a mask, allegedly disobeyed officials by forcefully entering the cordoned off area.

"On that basis, officers took appropriate action and restrained him. His father then also joined the commotion to protect his son, whereby he pushed an officer to the ground," Shapumba said.

Video footage shows the duo, surrounded by at least six officers, put into cuffs and whisked away to a waiting police van.

According to Shapumba, Section 16 of the Police Act empowers police officers to put barriers at crime scenes so that they can carry out their duties without obstruction.

"This is also for the purpose of maintaining law and order as well as to protect members of the public from any danger that may arise from such scenes.

He then appealed to residents to obey the law as it is for their own safety. Adding that they cannot allow anyone to just enter such a scene without identifying themselves.

Meanwhile, both Martin and Giandre appeared in court and were charged with crimen injuria and resisting arrest. Both paid N$2 000 bail.

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