Namibia: Handcuffed Mayor Presses Charges Against Police

There was drama at the Wanaheda police station following the arrest of Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas after a confrontation between her and police officers on patrol broke out at Okahandja Park yesterday. Images of a handcuffed Gawanas emerged on social media platforms yesterday afternoon.

The mayor was allegedly unlawfully arrested and assaulted by Namibian Police officers.

She has since pressed charges against the officers in question.

City spokesperson Harold Akwenye said the mayor was conducting a community meeting in Okahandja Park when a police car drove past "harshly", leading to the disruption of the meeting.

"The police officer stopped the car and then started shouting back to the community members who stood up distracted. The mayor intervened to stop the misunderstanding and to tell the police officer that his action was wrong," he said. He added the police officer felt offended by the mayor and handcuffed her. "I want to set the record straight. The police officer handcuffed the mayor and our colleague, a driver to the mayor. A seargent intervened and told the police officer to uncuff the mayor. He did so, then the mayor willingly drove to Wanaheda police station to open the case against the police officer," said Akwenye. Khomas police spokesperson Silas Shipandeni confirmed to New Era the mayor was still at the police station laying charges, including a claim of unlawful arrest. "I am informed that there was a confrontation between the mayor and the colleagues who were on patrol. This encounter resulted in a misunderstanding. She is still here at the police station and is busy with her case. Only after she is done with her statement I will be able to divulge more information on what transpired," said Shipandeni. Several calls made to the mayor went unanswered, while the Khomas police chief Ismael Basson was also not available for comment.

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