OTJIWARONGO, 23 JUN – A police officer on Friday appeared in the Grootfontein Magistrate’s Court for allegedly opening fire and wounding a senior colleague and two trial-awaiting inmates at the town’s holding cells on Wednesday.
Constable Cornelius Hamutenya, 22, appeared on three counts of attempted murder.
He was granted bail of N$ 3 000 and his case was postponed to 30 August 2018 for further police investigations.
Namibian Police Force Otjozondjupa Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas confirmed to Nampa on Friday that the incident happened at the Grootfontein police holding cells on Wednesday at 17h00.
He explained that on that day around 14h00, a male trial-awaiting prisoner allegedly poured cold water on Hamutenya, who is tasked to guard holding cells at Grootfontein, while he was on duty.
“Then the police leadership there sat and arranged an immediate transfer for this inmate, who poured water on Hamutenya, to Otavi, since he was declared already a problem-person,” he said.
At about 17h00, police officers opened his cell with the intention to transfer him and that is when he allegedly stormed Hamutenya with a broken piece of mirror in his hands, wanting to stab the constable.
Hamutenya was armed with an official assault rifle, an AK-47, and opened fire in his direction.
One bullet struck the trial-awaiting inmate in the abdomen and both his hands.
“In the same process, a warrant officer on duty was also hit in the right-hand palm and another trial-awaiting prisoner struck in the neck, bringing the total injured persons to three,” Andreas continued.
However, sources at the police station Nampa spoke to via telephone on Friday claimed that urine was thrown in Hamutenya’s face, and that he then fired three shots with the AK-47, which hit the three people.
The three injured persons were taken to the Grootfontein State Hospital that same day, and the warrant officer was on Thursday transferred to the capital for further medical attention.
Police investigations in the matter continue.