Police chief’s utterances undercut by response from his own office
On 10 September 2019, Namibia Fact Check published an article challenging the factual basis of a claim by Namibian Police inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga that some allegations of brutality and misconduct against police and military personnel on crime-fighting operations had been investigated and were established to be “unfounded and fabricated”.
Namibia Fact Check found that Ndeitunga’s claim was unproven and unsubstantiated.
The fact check came after the following statement by the police chief at the launch of the second phase of the joint police and army crime-fighting Operation Kalahari Desert in Windhoek in mid-August 2019:
“There were a few incidents of alleged unprofessional conduct made against the law enforcement operatives. Among those cases includes alleged misconduct by law enforcement officers on operation, which were investigated and the result of many of these claims were either, emphasis, were either unfounded or fabricated. People who have a mouth that are turned into factories to fabricate lies. Factories mouth to fabricate lies!”
At the time Namibia Fact Check published the fact checked article the police hadn’t responded to an information request seeking clarity on the number and outcomes of investigations of brutality and/or misconduct charges implicating police officers and soldiers involved in the ongoing Operation Kalahari Desert and the preceding Operation Hornkrantz, of late 2018 to early 2019.
In early October 2019, Namibia Fact Check received a response from the Namibian Police. The response can be viewed here.
What the police response indicates is that by 19 September 2019:
39 cases of brutality and/or misconduct had been registered;
19 cases were still under investigation;
5 cases the prosecutor-general had declined to prosecute;
10 cases were still with the prosecutor-general for a decision to prosecute;
1 accused had paid an admission of guilt fine of N$300;
1 case had an outstanding investigator’s statement pending;
1 complainant had withdrawn the case;
2 cases (murder) were on the court roll for prosecution.
In none of these instances was it indicated that the complainants had fabricated allegations of brutality and/or misconduct charges against police and military officials on operation during operations Hornkrantz or Kalahari Desert.
In light of this, Namibian Police inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga’s claims of such allegations being “unfounded and fabricated” remain unproven.