ONETHINDI, 14 APR – Acting Secretary of the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), Nepando Amupanda is accused of using police officers to body search his female colleagues at their office on 22 March this year.
The affected women said in a sworn statement in possession of Nampa that Amupanda irately told them he suspected one of them removed the key for the clerk’s office at the Ondonga Community Court in the Oluno suburb of Ondangwa.
Amupanda, a former bodyguard of the founding president Sam Nujoma, then apparently left the office and soon returned in the company of three male and two female police officers.
The victimes claim a certain Sergeant Haindongo did not inform them that they were under arrest for the theft of the key.
“He neither produced a lawful search warrant nor did he inform us about our rights as guaranteed by both the law and the Namibian Constitution,” the women said.
One of the victims has since laid various charges including body cavity search, torture and crimen injuria against Amupanda and Haindongo.
“A police woman lifted up my skirt and started probing me between my legs, my private parts and also between my buttocks,” she said under oath.
She added that the same police woman also searched her under armpits, wig, and between the toes.
“She also searched my handbag, spilling out all cosmetics and medicines as well as all other personal paraphernalia onto the table and the floor,” reads the statement.
The second female police officer searched her office, but could not find the said key.
Sergeant Frieda Shikole-Ashiyana of the Namibian Police Public Relations Unit for the Oshana Region, under which Ondangwa falls, declined to comment on the matter, only saying the Ondangwa Police have registered a case of defamation of character.
Approached for comment, Amupanda admitted that certain employees of the OTA were officially searched by the police “after something went missing in the office and they refused to cooperate”.
According to him, police officers have the right to body search a person for something missing.
“I didn’t search anyone, it was conducted by the police officially and is not by somebody just coming from his/her house,” Amupanda argued.
He alleged these employees are cooperating with OTA traditional councillors who were dismissed last year by Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas for misconduct.
The councillors are Peter Kauluma (OTA Council chairperson), Joseph Asino (OTA secretary), John Walenga, Vilho Kamanya, Kashona kaMalulu, Fillemon Nambili and Tonata Ngulu are.