TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA EDITORS
FROM: Lt-Gen. Sebastian Ndeitunga
Inspector General of the Namibian Police
DATE: 25 JUNE 2017
MESSAGE TO ALL ROAD USERS
Distinguished members of the Media
I have invited you here today not to discuss ordinary crime news but rather to put emphasize on road safety as well as to fully engage all of you as stakeholders to join hands with all other stakeholder in the road safety campaign. I am particularly perturbed by the recent road carnage on the Namibian roads in which a number of innocent lives were lost including those of Police Officers who are hard at work to prevent road deaths.
Since 2011 four Police Officers lost their lives at various Police Road traffic check point countrywide.
Ongwediva CR 76/06/2017 Murder. On 15 June 2017 Sergeant Aina Magano Iileka was instantly killed in the line of duty at Oshiko Police road traffic check point. The accused 22 years old Erastus Tashiya Petrus was charged with Murder, his case was postponed to 01 September 2017. No bail was granted and he remained in custody.
Wanaheda CR 214/06/2016 Culpable Homicide, Reckless and negligent driving, failure to stop at the scene of the accident and to ascertain the nature of the injuries. On 07 June 2016 Constable Desmond Gaseb was fatally ran over by a driver who failed to stop at the Windhoek/Okahandja road traffic check point and died at the scene. The suspect fled the scene and was arrested the next day and charged accordingly. The suspect 29 years old Ekonia Hangula appeared in court twice and was granted bail of N$4000-00 and the case was postponed to 19 October 2017 for pre-trial at Katutura Magistrate court.
Swakopmund CR 59/05/2015 Culpable Homicide, Reckless and Negligent driving; failure to stop and ascertain injuries at the scene of an accident, refusal to submit blood sample for alcohol testing as well as fleeing from the scene of the accident. In this case 35 years old Constable Yvonne Oxurus was instantly killed. The accused 46 years old Delfina Maria Meyer was arrested the same day, she appeared in court several times and was granted bail of N$ 8 000.00. The case is due pending the lab results.
Ongwediva CR 13/07/2011 1.Murder 2. Drunk and Driving. On 2 July 2011, Constable Albertina Naambo Uugwanga was instantly killed by a drunk driver in the line of duty at Oshiko Traffic Road check point. The driver Lucas Eliphas 38 years was charged with two counts, drunk driving and Murder. He was convicted on both counts, on count one he was sentence to one year imprisonment or a fine of N$ 3000.00 He paid the fine, on Count two he was found guilty and Sentenced to four years imprisonment with two years suspended.
May their souls rest in eternal peace; they will be remembered by all of us at Nampol and their name inscribed in the Nampol Hero List.
As the number of police officers killed at the road traffic checkpoints rises, the Inspector General is earnestly concerned that while trying to curb and reduce accidents and crime, lives are lost. He thus intends to put measures in place that he believes will protect the officers from the speeding, reckless and negligent drivers at road traffic checkpoints. Owing to that, he has extended a request to the Roads Authority to erect speed humps at all permanent road traffic checkpoints to ensure that speed is reduced as motorists approach the sites where police officers are stationed. He is confident that the Roads Authority will appreciate this matter and give his sincere request the necessary and speedy attention.
It must be of great concern to all of us that drivers, passengers and pedestrians continue to perish on our national roads because of attitudes to safety and despite the tremendous efforts made by the Namibian Police Force and other stakeholders to educate and remind the Public about road safety, through various road safety campaigns and warnings. It appears as if all the well-intended efforts are falling on deaf ears. One life, be it of an officer or any road user is one life too many.
Just recently on the western bypass a driver died and four learners’ sustained serious injuries in a collision involving four vehicles. This came just after another collision when the nation lost three lives after two sedan vehicles, a Toyota RunX and a Ford Figo collided head on about 60 km from Karibib on the B-2 road between Karibib and Okahandja and immediately caught fire in which all three people burned beyond recognition. Few months earlier on 30 April on the Otjiwarongo/Okahandja main road, about 85 km from Otjwarongo, an Iveco bus carrying 24 occupants collided with a Nissan NP 200 and similarly both vehicles caught fire, leaving 15 people dead. Road carnage is costing the nation too much, and all of us as road users need to bring our part to curb it. None of us are safe as we think.
The Inspector General therefore would like to extend a word of caution and reminder to all motorists and all road users alike to earnestly exercise a duty of care towards others at all times. I am appealing to everyone to uphold the rules and regulations of the road. Let us all respect life and exercise extreme caution and consideration when on the road and when approaching the police checkpoints and or any other roadblock for that matter. The nation will be in good state if we all comply with the instructions of the officers on the road. They are there for the well-being of all of us as the roads belong to all.
The Inspector General has urged all Police Officers at our road checkpoints to sternly and vigorously enforce the road traffic regulations and in a firm and professional but polite manner. Colleagues, let us ensure that these reckless people who are a danger on our national roads are properly charged. We must see to it that when found to be on the wrong side of the law, they are punished. We must pay particular attention to drunk and reckless drivers as they are amongst the worst causes of road accidents and deaths.
The Inspector General has appeal to all Police officers to rededicate and re-double their efforts in making sure that our roads are safe and lives are not lost through reckless, negligent and drunk driving. He appealed to all road users to change their attitudes and cherish life at all times.
The Inspector General, further wish to extend his heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all the families and friends who have lost their loved ones in road accidents.