Namibia

Namibian judge calls out police, army, impunity for assaults on the public

The Namibian police – long criticised for arbitrary brutality towards members of the public – have come in for some strong rebukes in a new decision by the high court. Dealing with the damages claim of a woman who was assaulted in an incident where she merely came out of her home to see the cause of a commotion, the court has slammed an ‘intolerable’ situation involving ‘prevalent’ assaults by police and members of the defence force on members of the public in Namibia.

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The case of Jane Owoses might cause outsiders to scratch their heads because of the assault she suffered at the hands of police, for no good reason. But for those who live in Namibia, or who read the judgments of the courts there, it’s part of a long line of cases involving police who act violently towards members of the public and who are never held individually accountable, even when the case results in a damages award.

Congolese woman convicted and sentenced for smuggling immigrants into Namibia

A former refugee from Congo has been found guilty on three charges relating to smuggling immigrants into Namibia. Abigail Bashala, who gave the court a list of illnesses with which she is afflicted as part of her evidence in mitigation, took money from desperate people to help them get into Namibia and to travel to Canada, though the flights to Canada never materialised. The court found she was part of a syndicate that preyed on people desperate to escape from war and start a new life.

Top Namibian court slams capital’s municipality over rule of law transgressions

Unlawful action by the municipality of Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, has been slammed by the Supreme Court, whose judges said the municipality’s ‘resort to self-help’ transgressed the country’s commitment to the rule of law. They were deciding an appeal related to the municipality’s actions against Paratus, a licensed telecommunications company that was installing fibre optic cables in the city.

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The municipality of Windhoek has come in for serious criticism by Namibia’s Supreme Court for ‘deplorable’ abuse of power and acting outside the rule of law in such a way as to warrant the ‘severe censure’ of the court.

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