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Paralysed Ondangwa man’s case not finalised six years later

An Ondangwa man says he is frustrated about the time it is taking to finalise his case instituted six years ago.

Kriat Kamanya, who uses a wheelchair, says he was attacked by four men at Oshakati on 2 September 2017.

This has rendered him a wheelchair user, while the suspects have been released on bail and the case is yet to be concluded.

Police deputy commissioner Hamukoshi Kamati says the case has been postponed to 6 October.

“I can’t comment on the status of the case now, because I am still waiting for a response from the court,” he says.

However, Oshana region head of crime investigations deputy commissioner Hamukoshi Kamati said the suspects have been charged with robbery.

The suspects are Garden Nangolo (22), Simon Petrus (25), Absalom Shatumbu (28), and Pombili Shatumbu (30), who was arrested at a later stage than the three other suspects, Kamati said. The suspects have been granted bail of N$1 500 each. They will be prosecuted on different dates, with the case being postponed to 6 October for the three suspects, and 7 July for the other suspect. Kamanya says the incident took place when he went to visit a friend.

“I parked my vehicle outside her house, but before I could go into the yard a group of men came and demanded my cellphone and attacked me,” he says.

“The men had knives, and they beat me until I started bleeding. One of them hit me in the stomach with an interlock brick. I was in terrible pain, and could not move,” Kamanya says.

He says he sustained a spinal cord injury during the attack, which led to his paralysis. He lost his job due to his condition, he says.
“I have become a financial burden to my family as I am always in and out of the hospital,” he says.


BEFORE AND AFTER… Kriat Kamanya, who is now wheelchair- bound, says his life has drastically changed from the active breadwin- ner he used to be. He can no longer work due to his condition.

“Why is it that such people are literally allowed to get away with murder?” Kamanya asks, adding that the police did not apprehend the suspects, but that his father went to look for them and then contacted the police.

Kamanya’s friend and witness to the incident, Ester Nambele, says a group men approached them with a panga at the time of the incident.

“I witnessed my friend being beaten in daylight. I shouted and screamed for help, but nobody helped us,” she says.

“People gathered around just to watch, and I had to run to call for help from my siblings at home before we took my friend to the hospital.

“The police contacted me two years after the incident to get some information from me again, after being told that the first docket was lost,” she says.

Kamanya’s caregiver and cousin, Rachel Jonas says: “He is in a lot of pain and the fact that he was a breadwinner to many in his family and now unable to provide what he used to, can also frustrate him sometimes.”

Felix Shivute, the former acting branch manager at the company Kamanya used to work for, says he has known Kamanya since 2012 when he started working at the company.

He describes Kamanya as a competent employee who was always eager to assist. “He was brilliant at his work, disciplined and focused. He was also furthering his studies at that time, and was also physically very fit, because the work he did required lifting heavy objects,” Shivute says.

CONSTANT TRAUMA

Windhoek-based clinical psychologist Shaun Whittaker says the fact that Kamanya uses a wheelchair and that the case is not being finalised constantly reminds him of his trauma, which can lead to complex post-traumatic stress disorder.