By Risco Lumamezi
Mr. Victor Tutangane (39) a resident of Mwanzi village at Singalamwe area in Caprivi region who was allegedly shot by the police during an ambush, has received legal representation to fight his case.
Following numerous failed attempts to get legal assistant since 2010, Ministry of Justice confirmed to Caprivi Vision that Mr. Tutangane was granted a legal Aid Lawyer Mr. Kruger Van Vuuren to defend his case number 69/07/2010 which was opened and closed without trial.
Mr. Tutangane, who is now rendered disable, was allegedly shot on his left foot by Mr. Jekonia Erick Haipinge, a Police Officer, on July 12, 2010, while on his way to Singalamwe Border Post upon his return from Zambia. Its is alleged that the Police who were hiding in bushes shot him from his front as the bullet went straight in his left leg, while he was approaching the border, to get his border pass stamped .
Mr. Tutangane, had requested Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa to look into his case, in his bid to get compensated for his injuries at the hands of the police officer.Mr. Tutangane walks difficultly as he walks on sticks, following the near fatal incident, which he described to the newspaper that “through a lot of pain and suffering, the investigations of his case that did not bear any fruits for him.”
He said that he still doesn’t understand why he had initially received a letter that his case was declined by the Deputy Prosecutor General who preferred to refer to as Mr.H.K Haindobo in Rundu.Mr Tutangane alleged that his case was declined without his knowledge and is now questioning why Mr. Haipinge did not stand before the court of law to identify who was wrong.
A Namrights Defender for Para legal in Caprivi region , Mr. Leopold Mnakapa confirmed that Mr. Tutangane ‘s case was submitted with his office in 2010 , after it was rejected. Mnakapa noted that Tutangane’s lawyer should institute the court to compensate him and to let the culprit face the court of law since, nobody is above the law as provided for in the Namibian Constitution, Article 10.
“I felt sympathy for him. Several application letters were forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for Legal Aid but were rejected as they needed the submission of medical reports and reasons why it took long before compensations.” said Mr. Mnakapa.
Mr. Mnakapa further explained that Article 18 ( Administrative Justice ) , Article 25 ( 2) and Article 95 (H) of the Namibian Constitution gives mandate to the aggrieved Mr. Tutangane to seek justice on his violated fundamental human rights and freedoms.
An application letter in the possession of Caprivi Vision reads that Mr. Tutangane was shot by an intoxicated police officer on the ankle.“I spent approximately the whole year receiving medical treatments, including the removal of the bullet on my feet, which up to this day is still in pain. If you ascertain my medical reports, you will see that I was treated at three different state hospitals” reads the first part of the letter The second part of the letter states why he needs a state appointed lawyer.
“I was declared permanently disabled for the rest of my life; hence I do not have sufficient time and resources to travel, as I am extremely poor. I come from the poor infested community.I am still in terrible pain. I live at a village situated about 200 kilometres away from Katima Mulilo, which makes it difficult for me to travel” it reads.
Asked on the next appearance of Mr.Tutangane’s case, his legal aid lawyer Mr Krudger Van Vuuren responded that although the case took long after the incidence and him was informed to represent Tutangane on October 18,2012 and has expressed remarks that he is still waiting for the report in order for him to assess and know circumstances that caused a delay which he describes that it might bring problems to the legality of his civil claims.
Meanwhile, interms of the Police Act 19 of 1990 section (39 )determines that “ Any civil proceedings against the State or any person in respect of anything done in pursuance of this Act shall be instituted within 12 months after the cause of action arose, and notice in writing of any such proceedings and of the cause thereof shall be given to the defendant not less than 1 month before it is instituted: Provided that the Minister may at anytime waive compliance with the provisions of this subsection.(2) If any notice contemplated in subsection (1) is given to the Inspector-General, it shall constitute notification to the defendant concerned.(3) Any process by which any proceedings contemplated in subsection (1) are instituted and in which the Minister is the defendant or the respondent, may be served on the Inspector-General.” Reads the Police Act .