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LAC condemns kicking cop

31 March 2011
By: Denver Kisting

The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) has condemned the killing of a Katima Mulilo civilian – allegedly at the hands of a Police officer.

LAC director Toni Hancox this week charged that Police officers “who perpetuate assaults while on duty must be held criminally liable”.

According to Hancox, the LAC supports “the fight against crime but that fight will be in vain if those tasked to be on the forefront of the battle disregard fundamental human rights in the process”.

Sergeant Mordekai Mutilifa (32) made a first appearance in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court last week after he allegedly kicked Simvula Albert Simula to death over the Independence Day long weekend.

Mutilifa was refused bail after his first court appearance. Regional Police Commissioner Tyves Kampolo last week said the alleged incident happened at about 01h56 on Sunday, March 20.

Kampolo said the deceased and two other men and one woman were taken to the Police station during the early hours of Sunday for allegedly being drunk in public. During an altercation at the Police station, the officer allegedly kicked the 30-year-old Simvula in the stomach.

Simvula was declared dead upon arrival at a Katima hospital. In a strongly worded press release, Hancox yesterday said: “The position of just holding such Police officers and the State civilly and vicariously liable for damages, respectively, is clearly not sufficient. There is a need for a more concerted effort by the State to promote respect for fundamental human rights among Police officers through human rights education.”

Hancox said Article 8 of the Namibian Constitution clearly states that “the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable” and “no person shall be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

She said the provisions of the Constitution “must first and foremost be respected by all organs of State in order to foster a human rights-based democracy in Namibia”.

Mutilifa’s case was postponed to May 31 this year for further Police investigation.

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