EFF alleges Amushelelo’s arrest was aimed at muting dissent

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The South African political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, has claimed that the arrest of Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) member Michael Amushelelo, was a clear attempt to silence him, setting an example to radical voices calling for revolutionary change in Namibia.

EFF National Spokesperson Sinawo Thambo, stated that the EFF has consistently maintained that Amushelelo’s arrest and detention were politically motivated.

“The EFF has consistently maintained that Amushelelo’s arrest and detention were politically motivated, as stated in our statement of support from 28 September 2023. Amushelelo is a vocal critic of the Namibian Government,” said Thambo.

He made these remarks last Friday after Amushelelo was acquitted of all charges alongside Dimbulukeni Nauyoma by Magistrate Linus Samuzala at the Katutura Magistrate Court last week.

Thambo expressed that the party welcomes the acquittal of Amushelelo, who serves as the Head of Economic Development of NEFF.

“The court proceedings revealed that there was no evidence Amushelelo had committed any crime and that his arrest and detention were therefore unlawful. This occurred after he had been denied bail on multiple occasions, even though he did not pose a flight risk or a danger to the public. He had to initiate a hunger strike for his plight to be heard,” added Thambo.

Before his acquittal, Amushelelo announced from a jail cell last month that he chose to embark on a hunger strike to force the authorities to grant him freedom.

Magistrate Samuzala cited the poor quality of evidence presented by the state, noting that Amushelelo had been continually incarcerated since his arrest on 21 March this year.

Amushelelo and Nauyoma were arrested on 21 March alongside Popular Democratic Movement Member of Parliament Inna Hengari. Following their involvement in all agedly organising a nationwide protest against youth unemployment on Independence Day.

Amushelelo and Nauyoma faced charges, including public violence, incitement to public violence, and malicious damage to property.

The evidence provided by the complainant, Chief Inspector Frederick Ndjatila, of the Namibian Police Force, who was the state’s key witness, was deemed immaterial by the Magistrate.

Magistrate Samuzala also dismissed oral evidence from other police officers who testified as state witnesses, pointing out contradictions in their statements.

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