Kandjii dies in Police custody
…family wants answers

Obrein Simasiku

The nation is mourning the death of former Swapo councillor for the Katutura Central Constituency and Parliamentarian Ambrosius Kandjii, died in a Gobabis hospital this morning following a short illness. Kandjii is said to have suffered from stomach cramps, according to a family member, Kaitira Kandjii, who confirmed his death to the Windhoek Observer.

Kandjii died in police detention since December. The family is now seeking to engage the Namibian police, as the deceased fell ill while under their care.

Kandjii was admitted to a private hospital on 23rd May and then transferred to the Gobabis State Hospital on 2 June, until his death today, said Omaheke regional police commander Commissioner, Andreas Haingura, also confirming the death.

In early May, Kandjii was involved in a car accident in Windhoek, while being transported in a police van for a court appearance. He, together with two police officers, sustained minor injuries. The former member of the National Council has been in custody since December 2021, for malicious damage to property and having violated a protection order, instituted by his wife.

“He [Kandjii] was admitted in Windhoek and discharged when he was involved in an accident. However, it can only be the postmortem that can absolve and determine whether the cause of death was as a result of the accident or just natural illness unrelated to that incident,” said Haingura, when asked whether the accident factored his death.

Kaitira, said the family is considering engaging the police to understand what could have led to the sudden sickness, which could have led to his death, as he had no history of an ailment. Also, he said, though medical examinations were conducted extensively by a doctor there was no mention whether the accident played a role.

“These are some of the issues we are looking at, so the police need to tell us what happened to him while in their custody, whether it was food he ate, stress and so forth. So we are equally, waiting for the post mortem to reveal what was the exact cause of death,” said Kaitira.

Kandjii was a renowned politician, who joined Swapo in 1986, and served as Nanso chairperson and regional treasurer between 1990-1992; from 1996-2002 he joined the SWAPO Youth League (SPYL) and then rose through the ranks to become the in SPYL executive committee member from 2002-2008. At the same time, he served as the Swapo Party Branch (Katutura) Treasurer 2000-2009. He then went on to became a regional councillor for the Katutura Central Constituency serving in the fourth and fifth National Council from 2011-2020.

While in parliament he served on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Economy; Standing Committee on Habitat, as well as a Committee on Gender, Youth and Information Communication Technology 2011-2015.

By Observer