AN internal investigation is currently underway following the alleged brutal assault of a man in Ongwediva by four unnamed police officers about two weeks ago.
The victim, Israel Nangolo (39) has since been hospitalised at the Oshakati State Hospital. As a result of the assault, Nangolo has been diagnosed with internal bleeding. He has also suffered from hemothorax, a collection of blood between his chest wall and the lungs, which is currently being drained.
Oshana Police Commander, Rauha Amwele, has confirmed that a report is yet to be sent to the Inspector General, Sebastian Ndeitunga. Amwele has also confirmed that a criminal case has been opened against the police officers although they have not been arrested. “I do not want to divulge much because a case has since been opened and what I say could jeopardise the case. I can however confirm that the officers are still at work. Suspension of officers varies from case to case. It is not every time that police officers are suspended. The outcome will determine the way forward. Investigations will determine why they assaulted the victim. The regulations are clear and police officers know that they are not permitted to assault civilians,” Amwele says.
Nangolo says to date eleven litres of blood have been drained from his body, adding that the bleeding is persistent. Recallling the events of that fateful day, Nangolo explains he was stopped by police officers in Elombe village, which is kilometres away from his village.
“I was driving on my way from work and the uniformed officers stopped me. They did not say [what] they wanted and then I drove away towards my uncle’s house. They then followed me and I proceeded to drive. Unfortunately I bumped a log and my tyre became flat and I stopped the car. The police officers immediately approached me with guns, pulled me out of the car and started beating me up, kicking me until I fell to the ground. They also kicked my ribs. The doctors told me one of my lungs shrinked,” Nangolo says.
According to him, it wasn’t until public members arrived that the officers stopped assaulting him. “I am in so much pain. I can’t even lay down or move properly. To date, I do not know what the police officers wanted. They have searched my car and found nothing,” he says.