Namibia: Defense chief says man filming security raid was wrongfully killed

By AT editor - 19 September 2019 at 2:04 am
Namibia: Defense chief says man filming security raid was wrongfully killed

Namibia’s defense minister confirms that a man shot by a soldier two weeks ago while recording a military raid on a neighboring home was indeed wrongfully killed – but at the same time, he upheld the fact that Namibian law prohibits civilians from making such recordings.

That’s according to minister Penda Ya Ndakolo, who was speaking to the National Assembly on Tuesday and whose remarks about the case were reported by local media outlets.

The case of 32-year-old Benisius Kalola has come under wide scrutiny since the September 5 incident. Kalola was in the historic Katutura section of Windhoek when security forces with Operation Kalahari Desert – a crackdown on criminal activity launched in May – executed a raid on a nearby home. When some of them saw Kalola appearing to film them from a short distance, they demanded that he stop recording.

Kalola refused to do so and tried to flee, according to Namiban authorities. Namibian news outlet New Era said he was shot in the back with an AK-47 as soldiers chased him just a few steps from his home.

While the NDF member who shot Kalola was arrested, it’s not been clear in the interim that the recording activity was the reason for the pursuit and fatal shooting.

While Ya Ndokolo admitted that Kalola was wrongfully shot, he said the law still prevents Namibians from recording police and military activity when members are on duty, and the military was aware that some Namibians have opposed the crackdown on crime.

Image: Namibian tourism/government file

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