By Staff Reporter
A 19 -year old – man, taxi driver is accusing six members of the Namibia Defence Force of assaulting him after they refused to pay him his taxi fares.
Mr. Benny David Osvaldo who escaped death at the hands of the notorious soldiers expressed his concerns to Caprivi Vision that it all started on 26 November 2013, when other two soldiers stopped him at Dairy compound and asked him to take them to their cheetah guest house, while when they reached there, all went out of the car saying they will bring the money to him but to no avail.
“When they went inside they took long, some 15 minutes and I followed them, when I reached inside , the other soldier was on a bed and the other was preparing his bed to sleep, I asked politely, ‘brother pay me I want to go’ and the other responded we cannot pay you this is not even a registered taxi, then I said if it was not registered taxi why did you stop me? Then he said, “ My friend just go otherwise I will kill you; while holding an iron block while opening a Wardrobe on the other side” he explained.
The concerned taxi driver decided to leave the place in fear of his life to avoid a repeation of the other event where another soldier shot to death four civilians at the same place Cheetah over jackpot money on June 29, rushed to their commander’s house located at some few meters for help.
An army commander, known as Mr. Chris who is the manager for cheetah club where he explained everything about his fate, only assured him that he will phone his other commanders and then advised him to see him the following day, “I called him the next day but he was not replying to me then I stopped” said Mr. Osvaldo.
He added that on 3 December, the same soldiers stopped him at Liselo for a ride to FNB ATM after withdrawing their cash; they also instructed him to drop them in Cowboy at happy bar at around 18hrs.
The Taxi Driver who gave a ride to the same two soldiers were in company of the other four soldiers which brought a total of six soldiers as passengers in his car, he agreed to drive them from Liselo to FNB in town and thereafter he finally took them to Cowboy as their request.
“All of them came out of the car, they went inside the bar after they took long I asked them about my money, they then again refused to pay me because they allegedly lost the wallet in my car, they then started searching for the wallet in my car, but did not find the wallet and they started forcing me and took my car keys, the wife of the other soldier shouted at them to leave me that the wallet was with her.” Quashed Mr. Osvaldo.
“When I said that bring me the key for my car, then the other soldier threw a bottle in my neck, the owner of the bar also came with a panga and started breaking bottles beating me and all joined beating me and they took me in a private room where they wanted to slaughter me until many people in cowboy rescued me and started shouting and the police van was passing in the street and rescued me then took me to the police station with those soldiers.He said, upon arriving to Katima Mulilo police station he wanted to open a docket at the same time and was advised by other police officers that were on duty to go to the hospital first.
“They refused and gave me a form called J88 that I should go to the hospital and the accused soldiers were released ”.
Mr. Osvaldo further expressed concerns that, “I want the law to take it `s course I have seen that if other people do something bad, nothing happens to them.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Chris Kloopers Manager at Cheetah Club confirmed to Caprivi Vision that he was aware of the matter and went on refuting that “ I know my people were drunk, I told him to come and take his money from me” said Mr. Klooper.
Asked to shed some lights on the other incident where the concerned Taxi driver was assaulted by his fellow soldiers in Cowboy, Mr. Kloopers further advised that, It was possible if the concerned victim could see the Chief of the military police at Mpacha base some 22 kilometers away the town of Katima for help.
At the time of going for press Ministry of Defence Public Relations Department could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Osvaldo opened the docket with the case CR 17/02/2013 for assault GBH (Gross Bodily Harm)