Pregnant soldier alleges assault by police officers

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

A major in the Namibian Defence Force Ndahafa Ipinge, claims that she was physically assaulted by four male police officers while she was 13 weeks pregnant.

The ncident, which occurred in June 2022, in Goreangab, has led to a legal battle unfolding in the Windhoek High Court.

Ipinge is citing the Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, and the Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force.

According to the particulars of claim documents, the assault took place when Ipinge arrived home to find a crowd gathered, claiming a cell phone had been stolen. The situation escalated as police officers allegedly assaulted her, kicking and punching her on her back, face, stomach, and legs. Ipinge, approximately 13 weeks pregnant at the time, pleaded for the assault to stop.

Following the alleged assault, Ipinge claims she was wrongfully, unlawfully, and intentionally arrested and transported to the Wanaheda Police Station, then subsequently to the Klein Windhoek Police Station. Despite requesting medical attention en route to the police station, her plea was ignored.

“During the assault, the Plaintiff repeatedly pleaded with the police officers to stop the attack because she was roughly thirteen (13) weeks pregnant and feared for her life and that of her unborn child. As a direct result of the unlawful actions of the police officers acting in the course and scope of their employment with the Defendants,” Ipinge’s statement reads.

The documents further state that after being detained for two nights, Ipinge sought assistance from her colleague, who transported her to Katutura State Hospital for medical attention. She was treated for injuries sustained during the alleged assault, including a nosebleed, swollen cheeks, a distended abdomen, and suprapubic tenderness.

In response, the defendants, represented by Constable Jackson, Teodor Nelompo, and Constable Sakaria Kaiko, denied the allegations.

They claim they were investigating a stolen cellphone complaint in an informal settlement when Ipinge allegedly confronted them, insulting them and instructing them to remove their vehicle from her property.

The defendants state that when Ipinge was informed she would be arrested for obstructing their duty, she reportedly replied with “Arrest me and you will see.”

They assert that Ipinge assaulted Kaiko when she entered the police van and refused to let go.

“The Defendants further plead that the Plaintiff assaulted Constable Sakaria Kaiko by slapping him in the face and by biting him on his left thigh when Constable Sakaria Kaiko requested her to let go as he was in immense pain, she refused and continued to bite him on his thigh, he then as a result of her biting applied minimum force and slapped her on her cheek and that is when she stopped biting Constable Sakaria,” read the defendants’ plea.

The case is now postponed to 6 March 2024, awaiting further proceedings.

Ipinge is seeking N$ 150,000 in damages, claiming violations of her constitutional rights.

Related Posts