A man who was claiming N$900 000 for being severely assaulted by police officers to the extent of defecating, had his suit dismissed by the Windhoek High Court yesterday.
Judge Collins Parker said Ebson Katire failed to prove that he was indeed assaulted by the police on 11 September 2019.
Parker noted that there is no clear and conclusive medical evidence that Katire was assaulted or even defecated as a result of the alleged assault.
“I find that there is no such evidence before the court tending to prove that police officials assaulted the plaintiff (Katire),” he said.
Thus, “it is otiose to consider the injuries plaintiff alleged he suffered and claim damages for the alleged injuries”.
The claim was dismissed and the case removed from the court’s roll.
Katire lodged a suit against the Namibian police and three of its officers for N$900 000 in damages, claiming that he not only sustained physical injuries, including a dislocated left shoulder, but experienced mental distress, shock and discomfort in the wake of the alleged assault.
In his suit, he names the police officers only as Kaura, Katira and Upi, who allegedly assaulted him on 11 September 2019 after he was arrested and detained at the Okondjatu police station in the Otjozondjupa region.
Narrating the incident in court documents, he says on the date in question, he had intentions of travelling from Okondjatu to Windhoek, but had to wait at a nearby cuca shop for a bus.
He said after a while, he decided to cross the road to relieve himself. While crossing the road, he saw officer Kaura, whom he knew. They conversed, and when he was about to board the bus, he shouted to Kaura: “If you do not go to the police station, I will beat you up before I depart.”
A few moments later, Katire alleges that a Toyota bakkie arrived, with two more police officers. He was bundled into the vehicle and taken to the police station.
At the police station, Katire claims, the officers assaulted him until he defecated – all while being handcuffed. He said the brutal attack lasted for over an hour. He was later released without being charged after spending the night in police custody. He apparently sustained multiple injuries as a result of the assault.
Through the hearing, the Namibian police have maintained their innocence.
Their lawyer Frieda Matsi said Katire had insulted a police officer while drunk, and was taken to the police station to sober up.
She argued that Katire and his witnesses had different versions of what transpired. Furthermore, Katire’s health passport indicates that he did not suffer any fractures on his shoulder or got a physical deformity – which is inconsistent with the injuries he allegedly suffered as a result of the assault.
Matsi added that Katire exaggerated the treatment meted out to him by the police during his detention.