Kalahari Soldier faces murder trial

Kandjemuni Kamuiiri

A member of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) who fatally shot an unarmed 32-year-old, Benisius Kalola, at Katutura’s Single Quarters during a Kalahari operation almost two years ago, is set to go on trial next week facing charges of murder.

Kalola succumbed to injuries at a local hospital after he was allegedly shot in the back with an AK-47, just a few metres from his family home near the Single Quarters after being chased by armed NDF members. Mulele Darrel Nyambe is set to become the first member of the uniformed forces to face criminal charges emanating from the infamous joint law enforcement operation, which has faced numerous claims from members of the public. He appeared at the Katutura Magistrate Court on Friday for his usual court hearing and was advised by Magistrate, Hochobes Niinja, that his trial will begin next week Friday , 7 May, 2021.

The case has faced numerous delays, ranging from a pending ballistics report to non-availability of a scene reconstruction photo plan. Another Soldier, Gerson Nakale, who faces a similar charge from the same operation after killing a Zimbabwean taxi driver, Fambauone Black, in Windhoek on 13 June 2019 for evading a police roadblock, will be making his court appearance on September 15, 2021.

The cases over the alleged shooting of the civilians by the NDF members, comes as the Nchindo family is looking to sue the Botswana government for damages after Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldiers last year shot and killed three brothers and a cousin, at the Chobe River between Namibian and Botswana. According to the BDF, the four were shot dead in Sedudu area (southern channel of Chobe River) last November after being suspected of being part of a syndicate of poachers believed to be responsible for cross border organised poaching.

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