Association http://namiblii.org/ en Dresselhaus Transport CC v Government of the Republic of Namibia (SA 20 of 2003) [2005] NASC 3 (11 May 2005); http://namiblii.org/na/judgment/supreme-court/2005/3 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Dresselhaus Transport CC v Government of the Republic of Namibia (SA 20 of 2003) [2005] NASC 3 (11 May 2005);</span> <div class="field field--name-field-flynote field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Flynote</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/787" hreflang="und">HR</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/661" hreflang="und">Association</a></div> </div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span>Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/05/2020 - 14:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-files field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Download</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-rtf file--general"> <a href="https://media.namiblii.org/files/judgments/nasc/2005/3/2005-nasc-3.rtf" type="application/rtf; length=266226">2005-nasc-3.rtf</a></span> </div> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-rtf file--general"> <a href="https://media.namiblii.org/files/judgments/nasc/2005/3/2005-nasc-3.rtf" type="application/rtf; length=266226">2005-nasc-3.rtf</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><br /><br /></p><br /><meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /><br /><title></title><br /><meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Linux)" /><br /><meta name="CREATED" content="20070223;17213800" /><br /><meta name="CHANGED" content="16010101;0" /><style type="text/css"> <!--/*--><![CDATA[/* ><!--*/ <!-- @page { size: 8.27in 11.69in; margin-right: 0.98in; margin-top: 0.59in; margin-bottom: 0.98in } @page:first { margin-top: 1.18in; margin-bottom: 0.98in } P { margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify } P.western { font-size: 13pt; so-language: en-GB } P.cjk { font-size: 13pt; so-language: en-US } P.ctl { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 13pt; so-language: ar-SA; font-weight: bold } A.sdfootnoteanc { font-size: 57% } --> /*--><!]]>*/ </style><p><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="RIGHT" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">CASE NO. SA 20/2003</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><b>IN THE<br /> SUPREME COURT OF NAMIBIA</b></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In the matter between:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%; page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>DRESSELHAUS<br /> TRANSPORT CC APPELLANT</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">and</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>THE GOVERNMENT OF THE<br /> REPUBLIC</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>OF NAMIBIA<br /> RESPONDENT</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>CORAM:</b> Strydom, A.C.J.,<br /> O’Linn, A.J.A.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">HEARD ON: 2004/04/22</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">DELIVERED ON: 2005/05/11</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">_______________________________________________________________</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="CENTER" style="border-top: none; border-bottom: 1.00pt solid #000000; border-left: none; border-right: none; padding-top: 0in; padding-bottom: 0.01in; padding-left: 0in; padding-right: 0in; page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u><b>APPEAL JUDGMENT</b></u></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b><u>O’LINN, A.J.A.:</u></b> I<br /> have divided this judgment into the following sections:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION I</u>: INTRODUCTORY<br /> REMARKS</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION II</u>: THE MAIN<br /> ISSUES AS DEFINED IN THE PLEADINGS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION III</u>: THE SPECIFIC<br /> LEGAL DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE<br /> NAMIBIAN CONSTITUTION, THE POLICE ACT AND OTHER RELEVANT STATUTES.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION IV</u>: THE RELEVANT<br /> FACTS IN ADDITION TO THOSE IN SECTION I WHICH WILL BE REGARDED AS<br /> PROVED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS JUDGMENT, BECAUSE SUCH FACTS WERE<br /> EITHER COMMON CAUSE, OR NOT SERIOUSLY DISPUTED IN THE VIVA VOCE<br /> EVIDENCE IN THE COURT <i>A QUO</i> OR ARE JUSTIFIABLE INFERENCES<br /> DRAWN FROM SUCH FACTS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION V</u>: THE QUESTION<br /> WHETHER THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE AS AN INSTITUTION HAD A LEGAL DUTY<br /> TOWARDS THE PLAINTIFF AND THE DEFENCES AND EXCUSES PUT FORWARD FOR<br /> NOT FULFILLING THIS DUTY.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VI</u>: WAS THE<br /> STORMING AND LOOTING AND ENSUING LOSS FORSEEABLE AND PREVENTABLE.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VII</u>: THE<br /> ALLEGATION THAT SOME MEMBERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE THEMSELVES<br /> TOOK SOME CONTAINERS OF BEER FROM THE OVERTURNED VEHICLE OF THE<br /> PLAINTIFF.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VIII</u>: THE LAW OF<br /> DELICT APPLICABLE IN THE CASE.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION IX</u>: CONCLUDING<br /> REMARKS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION I</u>: <u>INTRODUCTORY<br /> REMARKS</u>.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">This is an appeal against a<br /> judgment of Levy AJ in the High Court of Namibia wherein that Court<br /> dismissed a claim by the appellant against the respondent for damages<br /> with costs arising from the looting by members of the public of a<br /> consignment of 3744 cases of beer belonging to South African<br /> Breweries and transported by the appellant after appellant’s<br /> vehicle had overturned on Monday the 21 August at approximately 05:00<br /> at a four-way crossing on a public road at the outskirts of Tsumeb<br /> when two tyres burst when the vehicle turned a corner.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Appellant Dresselhaus Transport<br /> CC was cited as the plaintiff in the Court <i>a quo</i> and the<br /> Government of the Republic of Namibia as the defendant.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Mr Corbett appeared for<br /> Dresselhaus Transport in the court <i>a quo</i> as well as before us<br /> and Mr Goba appeared for the Government.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I will hereinafter, for the sake<br /> of convenience continue to refer to the parties as in the court a<br /> quo. At the time the action was instituted, the plaintiff was<br /> registered in Namibia as a close corporation, <i>inter alia</i><br /> conducting the business of transporting goods. Plaintiff bore the<br /> risk for any loss sustained to the consignment and was insured<br /> against such loss by its insurer, Mutual and Federal Insurance<br /> Company. The latter Insurance Company in actual fact paid plaintiff<br /> for the loss in accordance with an agreement between insurer and<br /> insured pertaining thereto. The said insurer was thus entitled on<br /> the principle of subrogation to sue the third party, in this case the<br /> Government, in the name of the insured. The Court <i>a quo</i> found<br /> that insofar as plaintiff was liable as the carrier for the loss or<br /> damage of goods transported by it, it could claim damages for the<br /> loss from the party responsible for such loss.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The question of <i>locus standi</i><br /> was not raised in the course of the appeal and nothing more need be<br /> said about that issue in this judgment.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION II</u>: <u>THE MAIN<br /> ISSUES AS DEFINED IN THE PLEADINGS</u>:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The plaintiff’s case was set<br /> out in its particulars of claim as amended. No further particulars<br /> were requested on behalf of defendant and plaintiffs case thus<br /> remained as in its particulars of claim, except for a change in a<br /> minor respect during the trial relating to the damages, which was<br /> reduced from N$163 725.12 to N$134 254.60.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Plaintiff similarly did not ask<br /> for any further particulars to defendant’s plea and the pleaded<br /> defence consequently remained as in the plea as amended in the course<br /> of the trial. The basis of plaintiff’s cause of action against<br /> defendant was set out in the said particulars as follows:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “5. Subsequent to this accident, members of the Police arrived and<br /> took charge of the accident scene. Members of the public also<br /> arrived on the scene and together with some members of the Namibian<br /> Police themselves, and in the presence of the Namibian Police<br /> wrongfully and unlawfully removed looted and/or stole the entire<br /> consignment of beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Plaintiff’s particulars further proceeded:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “6. Despite being under a legal duty to do so, the members of the<br /> Namibia Police present at the scene of the accident failed or<br /> neglected to prevent such members of the public and some members of<br /> the Namibia Police themselves from removing, looting and/or stealing<br /> the entire beer consignment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 7. The conduct of the members of the Namibian Police aforesaid<br /> constituted a breach of their legal duty to prevent and/or protect<br /> the beer consignment from being removed, looted and/or stolen by<br /> members of the public and members of the said police themselves.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 8. In and as a result of the said conduct of the members of the<br /> Namibian Police, the Plaintiff has suffered damages in the sum of<br /> N$163 725.12, being the value of the entire beer consignment. (This<br /> amount was reduced in the course of the trial to N$134 254.60 in the<br /> light of alleged expert testimony).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9. At all material times hereto, the said members of the Namibian<br /> Police were acting within the course and scope of their employment<br /> with the defendant….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">According to Mr Corbett, in argument before us, the<br /> allegation that some members of the Namibian Police also “<u>unlawfully<br /> removed, looted and/or stole the consignment of beer was not pursued<br /> in the light of the evidence at the trial</u>.” There however was<br /> no formal amendment of the pleading in this regard in the course of<br /> the trial in the Court <i>a quo</i> and it is not clear what Mr<br /> Corbett meant by his remark. Be that as it may. What was clearly<br /> not nullified by this statement was the evidence before Court that<br /> some members of the police did take possession of some cases of beer<br /> and placed it in a police vehicle at some stage. The circumstances<br /> of this taking will be discussed further including and in conjunction<br /> with the evidence that a member or members of the police standing at<br /> the back of the stricken vehicle gave the crowd to understand that<br /> the consignment was insured and that they could consequently take it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The defendant pleaded as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“5. <u>Ad<br /> paragraph 5</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The defendant admits that details of the Namibian Police attended the<br /> scene. The defendant further admits that members of the public also<br /> arrived on the scene. Defendant avers that the police took all<br /> necessary and reasonable steps to protect and secure the scene of the<br /> accident but were overwhelmed by the large group of persons who<br /> engaged in acts of public violence and looting at the scene. Save as<br /> aforesaid, the Defendant denies each and every allegation therein<br /> contained as if specifically traversed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="6"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Ad paragraph 6<br /> thereof</u></p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.1 The defendant admits that the members of the Namibian police had<br /> a duty to preserve the scene of the accident and to protect the motor<br /> vehicle and the goods but that such duty ceased and the police were<br /> relieved of such a duty when the plaintiff gave to its agent Rubicon<br /> Security power and authority to arrange for all security measures at<br /> the scene of the accident and when such written authority was<br /> furnished to the Namibian police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.2 The defendant specifically avers that it was plaintiff itself<br /> through Rubicon Security, its agent which prevented the police from<br /> guarding and protecting the motor vehicle and the goods and by<br /> further informing the police that Rubicon Security had been given<br /> sole responsibility to provide security for the motor vehicle and/or<br /> the property thereupon.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.3 In spite of this members of the Namibian police took all<br /> necessary and reasonable steps to protect the scene and property<br /> thereupon but were overwhelmed by the large crowd of members of the<br /> public which was present at the scene and which looted the<br /> consignment. Save as aforesaid defendant denies each and every<br /> allegation contained therein as if specifically traversed.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The various allegations in the plea are in conflict<br /> with each other and vague and embarrassing as a whole. A request for<br /> further particulars would have been appropriate and an exception to<br /> the plea would have had reasonable prospects of success. As<br /> plaintiff’s legal representatives had failed to take these steps,<br /> the Court <i>a quo</i> and this Court on appeal was faced with a<br /> confusing, inconsistent and vague and embarrassing defence<br /> throughout.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION III</u>: <u>THE LEGAL DUTIES AND POWERS OF<br /> ALL ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT AND OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE AS PROVIDED IN<br /> THE NAMIBIAN CONSTITUTION</u>, THE POLICE ACT AND <u>OTHER RELEVANT<br /> STATUTES</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">1. <u>The Constitution</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The following provision of the Namibian Constitution<br /> are directly relevant to this issue. Chapter 3 of the Namibian<br /> Constitution provides for the recognition of certain fundamental<br /> rights and freedoms, its protection and entrenchment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In <u>Article 16</u> it is provided:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“All persons shall have<br /> the right in any part of Namibia to <u>acquire, own and dispose of<br /> all forms of immovable and movable property individually or in<br /> association with others</u>….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Article 5 provides for the duty to protect the<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms. It reads:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“The<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be<br /> respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and<br /><u>all organs of Government and its agencies</u> and where applicable<br /> to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia <u>and shall be<br /> enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed</u>.”<br /> (My emphasis added).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is obvious that the Namibian Police Force as an<br /> institution, is an organ of Government and/or an agency of Government<br /> and thus has the constitutional duty to respect and uphold these<br /> fundamental rights, including the right to movable property, which<br /> would include the vehicles of plaintiff and the vehicle of the firm<br /> Family Choice and the consignment of 3744 cases of beer transported<br /> by the plaintiff.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is similarly obvious that the members of public<br /> who gathered at the scene of the accident, had a similar duty to<br /> respect and uphold such fundamental right. The Courts function and<br /> duty to respect and uphold includes the specific powers set out in<br /> sub-articles (3) and (4) of Article 25 as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court<br /> referred to in Sub-Article (2) hereof shall have the power to make<br /> all such orders as shall be necessary and appropriate to secure such<br /> applicant the enjoyment of rights and freedoms conferred on them<br /> under the provisions of this Constitution, should the Court came to<br /> the conclusion that such rights or freedoms have been unlawfully<br /> denied or violated, or that grounds exist for the protection of such<br /> rights or freedoms by interdict.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The<br /> power of the Court shall include the power to award monetary<br /> compensation in respect of any damage suffered by the aggrieved<br /> persons in consequence of such unlawful denial or violation of their<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms, where it considers such an award to<br /> be appropriate in the circumstances of particular cases.”</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Article 115 provides</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “There shall be established by Act of Parliament a Namibian Police<br /> Force with prescribed powers, duties and procedures in order to<br /> secure the <u>internal security of </u>Namibia and to <u>maintain</u><br /> law and order.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">2. <u>The Police Act 19 of 1990</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This Act has been enacted in compliance with Article<br /> 115 of the Namibian Constitution.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Section 13 of the Police Act provides:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The functions of the Force shall be –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(a) the preservation of the internal security of<br /> Namibia;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(b) the maintenance of law and order;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(c) the investigation of any offence or alleged<br /> offence;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(d) the prevention of crime; and</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(e) the protection of life and property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">3. One of the specific duties to be performed by<br /> traffic officers, who, by definition include a member of the Namibian<br /> Police Force, is laid down in Section 14(1)(g) and (h) of the said<br /> Road Traffic and Transport Act 22 of 1999 which provides:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (g) “In addition to any other powers, duties and functions as may<br /> be conferred or imposed on a traffic officer by or under this Act; a<br /> traffic officer may, subject to the provisions of this Act -regulate<br /> and control traffic on any public road, and give such directions as,<br /> in his or her opinion, may be necessary for <u>the safe and efficient<br /> regulation</u> of such traffic and, where he or she is of the opinion<br /> that a driver of a motor vehicle <u>is impeding the normal flow of<br /> traffic on a public road, direct the driver to remove the vehicle<br /> from such road or to follow a different route</u> with <u>the<br /> vehicle</u>. (My emphasis added)</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (h) require of any person whom such officer reasonably suspects of<br /> having committed an offence under this Act or of being able to give<br /> evidence in regard to the commission or suspected commission of such<br /> an offence, to furnish his or her name and address and give any other<br /> particulars which are required for his or her identification or for<br /> any process”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Namibian Police Force not only has the above<br /> legal duties, but the law provides adequate powers to enable the<br /> police to execute their functions and duties and provisions severely<br /> penalizing those who obstruct the police in the execution of their<br /> duties such as those e.g. provided for in Section 15 of the Police<br /> Amendment Act and Section 18(1) of the Road Traffic and Transport Act<br /> 22 of 1999.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION IV</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>THE RELEVANT FACTS IN ADDITION TO THOSE IN SECTION<br /> I WHICH WILL BE REGARDED AS PROVED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS JUDGMENT,<br /> BECAUSE SUCH FACTS WERE EITHER COMMON CAUSE OR NOT SERIOUSLY DISPUTED<br /> IN THE <i>VIVA VOCE</i> EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COURT <i>A QUO</i></u>,<br /> OR JUSTIFIABLE INFERENCES DRAWN FROM SUCH FACTS.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">1. Plaintiff’s vehicle<br /> consisted of a mechanical horse and two trailers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 2. After the vehicle had overturned, it came to rest on its side in<br /> the middle island of the road facing in the direction of Ondangwa<br /> about 3 kilometres from the town of Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 3. The load of 3744 cases of beer was secured on the bed of the<br /> vehicle with plastic covers and straps. Although the vehicle fell on<br /> its side and lay with the wheels on one side on the ground and the<br /> wheels on the other side in the air, the aforesaid load remained<br /> secure and none of the containers of beer or its contents appeared to<br /> have been damaged by the fall.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 4. The driver of plaintiff’s vehicle, Mr Griffiths, had sustained<br /> some shock but no serious injuries.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 4.1 The said driver had no assistant driver or other assistants<br /> accompanying him before, during or in the course of he looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 5. The Namibian police at Tsumeb were informed of the accident by<br /> Griffiths and a police officer was stationed at the scene of the<br /> accident at about 06:00 to secure the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"> 5.1 Later during the<br /> morning more officers were deployed to the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6. Mr Weakly, the managing director and co-owner of plaintiff,<br /> requested Mr Oosthuizen, security manager of Rubicon, a security<br /> company at Tsumeb, to attend to the scene of accident and report<br /> back.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.1 After Oosthuizen had reported to him and told him inter alia that<br /> the Namibian police were on the scene and he had consulted with the<br /> insurers, he instructed Oosthuizen to return to the scene to look<br /> after the load as well as the vehicle. He also arranged with a<br /> company referred to as “Family Choice” to send an interlink truck<br /> with two trailers to the scene to load the consignment on their truck<br /> and take it to its destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.2 Oosthuizen, then proceeded to the scene with four (4) security<br /> guards from his firm armed with “stoppers”, i.e shotguns which<br /> are designed to fire rubber bullets and teargas. The stoppers were<br /> loaded with rubber bullets but not teargas. Upon Oosthuizen’s<br /> arrival he deployed his guards strategically around the fallen truck<br /> while some police stood by. The police at that stage numbered about<br /> eight police officers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 7. Meanwhile, a crowd was gathering at the scene with people arriving<br /> as from approximately 08:00 on foot, in pick-ups and cars, apparently<br /> mostly from the Nombsoub residential area in Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Initially the crowd<br /> was peaceful.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">However, Oosthuizen<br /> observed that later in the morning the mood of the crowd became<br /> aggressive. By the time Inspector Munalisa of the Field Force<br /> arrived at the scene, Oosthuizen informed him that the crowd had<br /> indicated that “they had come to take the beer” and that there<br /> were certain instigators who were shouting.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(Unfortunately<br /> when Oosthuizen was testifying about what was said by and in the<br /> crowd, the Court ruled that it could not allow such evidence because<br /> it was hearsay. This was clearly a misdirection because Oosthuizen<br /> was testifying about the aggressive mood and criminal intention of<br /> some members of the crowd and the nature of the incitement).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Inspector Munalisa<br /> talked to the crowd and some of them even told him that they had<br /> come to take the load. When he asked them to move back, they<br /> refused and even booed him and laughed at him.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Munalisa then called<br /> on his cellphone and/or walkie talkie for reinforcements from the<br /> Tsumeb Police Station.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="5"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon, first testified that when Munalisa talked to him he said<br /> that the situation was under control, but later admitted that the<br /> crowd was of concern to Munalisa and that it was Munalisa’s<br /> opinion “that the crowd can storm the overturned truck to get the<br /> beer”.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="6"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">When Munalisa<br /> returned to the police station he also told Warrant Officer Jason,<br /> the second in command at the police station, that the number of<br /> cars and people were increasing at the scene and that the number of<br /> police she had previously sent, was insufficient. She reported<br /> what Munalisa had told her to Chief Inspector Simeon and arranged<br /> for all available off duty officers to report for duty and to go to<br /> the scene. She left for the scene together with Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon and about 10 Field Force members.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="7"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon and his men mostly unarmed, but some may have been armed<br /> with pistols.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="8"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">There were batons,<br /> teargas and the equipment to use it, such as firearms that could<br /> fire teargas, live bullets and rubber bullets available at the<br /> Tsumeb Police Station, but were not taken to the scene.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 8. At all relevant times the police at the scene and personnel at the<br /> police station could easily communicate by cellphone or walkie-talkie<br /> and police personnel and other persons could move to and from the<br /> police station within a very short time.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9. Although the total manpower of the <u>regular</u> blue-uniformed<br /> police at Tsumeb did not exceed 30, the strength of the Special Field<br /> Force stationed in the Tsumeb area was not disclosed in the evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9.1 It is a notorius fact that if additional manpower of regular<br /> police and Field Force was required for an operation at Tsumeb<br /> subsequent to the actual looting, those could at short notice have<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">been<br /> drawn from northern towns such as Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Outjo,<br /> Otavi and Ondangwa. Defence Force units were obviously also<br /> available in this northern area if the immediately available manpower<br /> at Tsumeb could not control a public violence situation.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9.2 At about 10:00 there were about 25 police persons at the scene<br /> but by then the crowd had grown to approximately 800.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">10 At 09:58am on the 21<sup>st</sup> Anton M</span>ü<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">ller,<br /> the transport manager of plaintiff sent a fax to Rubicon Security<br /> with the following “security instruction: “You are hereby given<br /> instructions <u>to arrange</u> for all security measures at the scene<br /> of accident near Tsumeb where a truck of the abovementioned company<br /> is involved.”</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">10.1 According<br /> to Mr Weakly, the managing director of plaintiff, the fax was sent by<br /> his transport manager M</span>ü<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">ller in<br /> accordance with the policy to give written instructions to enable the<br /> recipient to later claim payment for its services.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">According<br /> to Weakly, the intent was to help with the security at the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.2 After receipt of the faxed instruction by Oosthuizen, he showed<br /> the fax to some of the police officers on the scene, notably Chief<br /> Inspector Simeon, to explain Rubicon’s presence and function on the<br /> scene. He also informed Simeon that arrangements have been made for<br /> another truck to come and collect the load and to transport it to its<br /> correct destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.3 There is a dispute between the parties as to the exact content<br /> of that explanation. Some of the police persons alleged that<br /> Oosthuizen told them that Rubicon will take charge of all the<br /> security and the police must “move over”, and leave the securing<br /> and protecting of the vehicle and load exclusively to Rubicon<br /> security.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The allegations made by police witnesses were vehemently denied<br /> throughout by Oosthuizen.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.4 It is not clear from the pleadings and the viva voce evidence<br /> whether the police left the scene of accident at any stage and if<br /> they did so, why they left and when they left.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> According to defence counsel Goba, the police did withdraw from the<br /> immediate scene of accident at some stage and from then on – only<br /> controlled traffic.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 11. The truck from the firm Family Choice arrived after 10:00, and<br /> before 11:00, but the precise time was not established.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> This vehicle was also equipped with a mechanical forklift to<br /> facilitate the transporting of the load from the overturned truck to<br /> the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12. The driver of the Family Choice truck slowly moved to a position<br /> alongside the stricken truck whilst members of Rubicon moved in front<br /> and asked members of the crowd to stand back to enable the truck to<br /> accomplish its task of loading the load from the overturned truck<br /> onto the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The people from the crowd standing in the path of the oncoming truck<br /> actually gave way. It could be that this was done because those<br /> people were scared of being injured. The truck managed to park<br /> alongside plaintiff’s overturned truck without bumping against any<br /> pedestrian or injuring any person or damaging any vehicle or other<br /> property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.1 Once the Family Choice truck was in position and was on the<br /> verge of beginning with the operation of loading from the overturned<br /> truck onto the Family Choice truck, a person in the crowd jumped onto<br /> the Family Choice truck armed with a knife and slashed open the<br /> canvas and cut the straps holding the load secure, laying bare the<br /> load and ready for grabbing.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> Persons in the crowd shouted and some hurled stones at the trucks<br /> and the members of the Rubicon Security and those attempting to<br /> protect the vehicles and the load. In the course thereof one of the<br /> stones hit Mr Lindholm, an employee of Family Choice, who was trying<br /> to protect the cab of the Family Choice truck. Lindholm was hit at<br /> the back of his head.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> It caused an open wound and blood flowing from the wound onto his<br /> back. He however did not withdraw. Warrant Officer Jason was also<br /> bumped and pushed to the ground by the crowd storming the trucks but<br /> was uninjured. No other person from Rubicon Security or the police<br /> were injured.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> Members of the crowd swarmed onto the vehicles, grabbed the cartons<br /> of beer and each carried away as much as he or she could handle.<br /> Some loaded their spoils on to vehicles, some onto bicycles and some<br /> took as much as they could carry. Some vehicles returned to the<br /> scene more than once to reload.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.2 Initially members of Rubicon Security fired warning shots above<br /> the crowd and even rubber bullets at the crowd. It is uncertain<br /> whether or not any of the police had any firearms and had fired any<br /> warning shots. The two Rubicon dogs and the warning shots did not<br /> deter the mob.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.3 When the stones were hurled and the safety of members of Rubicon<br /> and the police were endangered, the members of Rubicon withdrew from<br /> their positions around the trucks to positions in the vicinity. It<br /> is unclear if the police withdrew and if so, when and why.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">13. It took about </span>¾<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> of an hour for the mob to complete the looting, the removal from the<br /> scene of accident of the whole of the consignment of beer of 3744<br /> cases of beer valued after the accident at N$134 254.60.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 14. It follows from the above facts, that the inciters and<br /> perpetrators and participants in the action committed the very<br /> serious crime of Public Violence, with Robbery, Theft and the<br /> disturbance and violation of the public peace and order as elements.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Public<br /> Violence is defined by the learned author Milton in South African<br /> Criminal Law and Procedure as the unlawful and intentional commission<br /> by a number of people acting in concert of acts of sufficiently<br /> serious dimensions which are intended violently to disturb the public<br /> peace or security or to invade the rights of others”. Under the<br /> new Namibian Criminal Procedure Act 25 of 2004, the crime of robbery<br /> in itself is so serious, that a sentence of life imprisonment without<br /> parole or probation or remission of sentence can be imposed on a<br /> person convicted of such crime in terms of Section 309 of that Act.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 14.1 Members of the mob also contravened the following statutory<br /> provisions and thus committed the following further serious criminal<br /> offences:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (i) Section 83(1) of Road Traffic and Transport Act 1999:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“<u>No<br /> person shall without consent of the owner or operator of a vehicle or<br /> any other person lawfully in charge thereof, or without reasonable<br /> cause</u> –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (c) in <u>any way tamper with the machinery, accessories, or any part<br /> of such vehicle</u><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(d) <u>enter<br /> or get onto such vehicle</u>……….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Section83(3):</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> No person shall –<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (a) without lawful excuse tamper with any vehicle or any of its<br /> equipment or accessories,</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (b) wilfully damage any vehicle or any of its equipment or<br /> accessories, or<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(c) throw<br /> any object at any vehicle…….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Section 106(2) provides<br /> that any person convicted of an offence of contravening the above<br /> sections, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N$20.000 or to<br /> imprisonment for a period not exceeding five (5) years or to both<br /> such fine or imprisonment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Insofar as the police<br /> claim that Chief Inspector Munalisa did order the crowd to stand back<br /> and they refused, Section 18(1) of the Road Traffic and Transport Act<br /> 22 of 1999 was contravened as well as Section 15 of the Police<br /> Amendment Act 3 of 1999 providing for a punishment of a fine not<br /> exceeding N$20 000 or for a period of imprisonment of 5 years or to<br /> both such fine and imprisonment for –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“Any person who –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(a) resists<br /> or wilfully hinders or obstructs a member in the execution of his or<br /> her duty or functions, or a person assisting a member in the<br /> execution of his or her duty or functions…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 15.1 The police did not perform the specific function as laid down<br /> and/or implied by Section 14(1)(g) and (h) the Road Traffic and<br /> Transport Act to timeously prevent an unduly large congregation of<br /> people and vehicles/at the scene of accident. In particular they did<br /> not:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Cordon off the area of<br /> the accident with barrier strips.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Direct the drivers not<br /> to stop at the scene and to follow a different route with their<br /> vehicles.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 15.2. During the period of actual looting at the scene, the crowd<br /> became progressively smaller as some of those who had taken or carted<br /> away what they can, left the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (i) For those on foot, it would have taken some time to carry their<br /> spoils back to Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (ii) The persons who were part of the mob at the scene of accident,<br /> were vulnerable to roadblocks on their way back to Tsumeb, no longer<br /> being a mob and having the intimidating force of a violent mob. It<br /> follows that it was now easier for the police to stop, search or at<br /> least take down their names and addresses or arrest them and retrieve<br /> the stolen goods or some of it and prosecute the criminals.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (iii) If that was too difficult, the culprits could have been traced<br /> and arrested and the stolen goods retrieved during raids later that<br /> afternoon or that night or even during the following days and nights.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (iv) When some of the culprits sold cases of beer the next day in the<br /> streets of Tsumeb, action could have been taken against them but no<br /> action was taken.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16. During the period of 45 minutes that the looting at the scene was<br /> in process, Oosthuizen was able and did take down the numbers of<br /> vehicles into which the stolen goods were loaded.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.1 He reported to a police officer on the scene that a police<br /> sergeant had taken some cartons of beer from the plaintiff’s<br /> vehicle and placed it in the police vehicle which he pointed out and<br /> the registration number of which, was included in his list of<br /> registration numbers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.2 The list of registration numbers aforesaid was later in the week<br /> handed to officers of the Tsumeb Police for their attention and<br /> further investigations.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.3 Although a police witness testified that a police sergeant was<br /> also instructed to take down the number of the motor vehicles on to<br /> which the beer was loaded and carted away, no such list was made<br /> available to the Court.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.1 According to police witnesses, although they could hear some<br /> people inciting the crowd, they could not identify anyone and<br /> consequently could not arrest any of the instigators and ringleaders.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.2 There was no explanation why the person who jumped on the<br /> vehicle with a knife and cut the canvas and straps and was thus an<br /> obvious ringleader, was not identified and not acted against in any<br /> manner at any stage.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.3 The police also made no attempt at any stage to obtain the names<br /> and addresses of some of the ringleaders or any other participants,<br /> although some police witnesses testified that some people in the<br /> crowd were known to them.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.4 Apart from Chief Inspector Munalisa’s rebuffed effort to ask<br /> the crowd to at one stage to move backwards, after which he returned<br /> to the police station, no other identifiable step was taken to deter<br /> the mob during the actual looting at the scene. In particular:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The police did not use<br /> loud hailers to warn the mob not to persist. They did not use<br /> batons, rubber bullets or teargas to deter and/or disperse the crowd<br /> and/or to enable them to arrest and charge the culprits.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The police at the<br /> scene were not even appropriately equipped and armed at the scene to<br /> use teargas and/or rubber bullets and/or batons to deter intended<br /> wrongdoers from committing serious crimes although such equipment<br /> was available at the police station within easy reach and there were<br /> sufficient early warning that the crowd was growing and increasingly<br /> aggressive and clearly indicated that they intended to take the<br /> consignment of beer for themselves.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.5 No roadblocks were set up to intercept those looters on their<br /> way back to Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.6 No raids were launched in the hours, days and nights following<br /> to identify, take the names and addresses and/or arrest and prosecute<br /> the culprits and to retrieve any of the stolen goods.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.7 It was alleged by witnesses for the Government and Mr Goba,<br /> counsel for defendant, that a police docket was opened pursuant to a<br /> report by Mr Oosthuizen, but no prosecution was ever instituted since<br /> the date that the crimes were committed. No reason was given why<br /> not.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.8 No effort was made by the police to retrieve any of the stolen<br /> goods from the thieves and none were recovered except the few cases<br /> in<i> </i>possession of the police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 18. It is probable that there was no proper command and leadership<br /> amongst the police at the scene and that this was one of the causes<br /> of the police failure to take appropriate action. The most senior<br /> person at the scene of accident was Chief Inspector Simeon of the<br /> section of the police known as the Special Field Force (SFF) and who<br /> are according to Mr Goba, “mainly responsible for policing<br /> borders”. Chief Inspector Simeon was reluctant to admit that he<br /> was the officer in charge at the time of the looting. He also<br /> admitted that he had no training in crowd control and it remained<br /> uncertain on his evidence whether he had any experience of<br /> controlling mob and mob violence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">19. The<br /> Namibian Police had failed -</p><br /><ol start="19"><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to maintain law and order;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to investigate the serious crime of Public<br /> Violence, Robbery and Theft;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to prevent crime;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to protect property of the plaintiff;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to respect and protect the fundamental rights<br /> of the plaintiff.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION V</u>: THE QUESTION WHETHER THE NAMIBIAN<br /> POLICE AS AN INSTITUTION HAD A LEGAL DUTY <u>TOWARDS THE PLAINTIFF<br /> AND THE DEFENCES AND EXCUSES PUT FORWARD FOR NOT FULFILLING THIS<br /> DUTY</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In the light of the legal duties provided for in<br /> the Namibian Constitution and the Police Act set out in <u>SECTION<br /> III <i>supra</i></u>, it is obvious that the plaintiff is also a<br /> beneficiary of those legal duties, i.e. the plaintiff was also<br /> entitled to the benefit of the execution of all those duties and<br /> responsibilities placed on the Namibian Police as an institution and<br /> organ of Government and the State. The duties and responsibilities<br /> were not restricted and/or delegated to those policemen present at a<br /> particular scene of accident or scene of crime, but remained the<br /> responsibility of the Namibian Police Force as an institution and<br /> organ of Government and the State.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It follows from the above that the aforesaid<br /> duties and responsibilities could not be delegated to private<br /> persons and institutions and that the Police Force cannot absolve<br /> itself from exercising those functions, duties and responsibilities.<br /> It follows further that no private person or institution can<br /> legally instruct and/or order the said Police Force or any number of<br /> police persons not to exercise the aforesaid functions and not to<br /> fulfil the duties and responsibilities provided for by the aforesaid<br /> laws. As a matter of fact, any attempt by such private person or<br /> institution to do so, will amount to the offence of obstructing the<br /> Police Force in the execution of its functions and duties.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It follows that the defendant’s plea that<br /> although the Police Force initially had a legal duty “to preserve<br /> the scene and to protect the motor vehicle and goods, but that such<br /> duty ceased and the police were relieved of such a duty when the<br /> plaintiff gave to its agent Rubicon Security power and authority to<br /> arrange for all security measures at the scene of the accident and<br /> when such written authority was furnished to the Namibian Police,”<br /> such plea was from the outset fatally flawed and could not<br /> constitute a proper and legal defence, even if the factual<br /> allegations therein were assumed to be correct for the purposes of<br /> argument.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">The patent absurdity of<br /> this plea is obvious when one keeps in mind that property cannot be<br /> secured and protected, if the internal security of Namibia is not<br /> preserved; if law and order is not maintained; crimes and offences<br /> such as those pertaining to the property in the instant case are not<br /> prevented and/or investigated and the perpetrators not arrested and<br /> prosecuted and the stolen goods not retrieved.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It seems that both the<br /> defendant and its counsel, failed throughout to distinguish the case<br /> of private and contractual security arrangements for the protection<br /> of private property from the case where the police duties are laid<br /> down by the Constitution and statute law.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It is also obvious that<br /> the function and duty to protect property, includes the function and<br /> duty to recover and retrieve stolen property, particularly those<br /> stolen and robbed in the police presence in circumstances amounting<br /> to rioting, mob violence and public violence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It is shocking that once<br /> the thieves had removed their loot from the scene of accident, the<br /> Namibian Police washed their hands of the crime and allowed the<br /> thieves and robbers to enjoy their spoils undeterred, unpunished and<br /> in peace.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The defendant’s further <u>initial</u> plea<br /> that it was plaintiff itself, through Rubicon Security its agent,<br /> which <u>attempted</u> to prevent the police from guarding and<br /> protecting the motor vehicle and the goods any further by informing<br /> the police that Rubicon Security had been given sole responsibility<br /> to provide security for the motor vehicle and/or the property<br /> thereupon, was similarly fatally flawed, even if the factual<br /> allegations of such attempt were regarded as correct for the purpose<br /> of the argument.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="5"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">When defendant amended its plea during the trial<br /> to allege that plaintiff through Rubicon not merely <u>attempted</u><br /> to prevent the police from carrying out its aforesaid functions/and<br /> duties, but actually <u>prevented</u> the police from doing so, it<br /> made the bad original plea even worse and even less credible.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">5.1 The<br /> further allegation in paragraph 6.3 of the plea adds further<br /> ambiguity to the already inconsistent and ambiguous plea by stating:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“In<br /> spite of this, members of Namibian police took all necessary and<br /> reasonable steps to protect the scene and property and to assist<br /> Rubicon Security but were overwhelmed by the large crowd of people<br /> which was present at the scene and which looted the consignment…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> allegation that <u>Plaintiff</u>, through <u>Rubicon Security<br /> prevented</u> the police from guarding and protecting the motor<br /> vehicle and its load is in conflict with the allegation that the<br /> police nevertheless took all necessary and reasonable steps to assist<br /> Rubicon Security but were overwhelmed by the large crowd. The<br /> questions arise –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">if the police were <u>prevented</u> by <u>plaintiff<br /> and its agent</u>, how could they still take all the necessary and<br /> reasonable steps to protect the scene and property.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">If plaintiff <u>prevented</u> the police and was<br /> thus the cause, how could it be alleged in the same breath that the<br /> police were <u>overwhelmed</u> by the large crowd, and that was then<br /> the cause of the police being unable to fulfil their functions and<br /> duties to protect the scene and property.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">5.2 The<br /> only mitigating factor in this absurd pleading and the attempt to<br /> justify it at the trial, was that Mr Goba conceded in his argument on<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">appeal that “the duty<br /> was however revived when the crowd stormed the truck and engaged in<br /> stealing from it in the presence of the police.” This concession<br /> was in line with the Court a quo’s finding on this point.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> question then arises: What steps were taken by the police after<br /> their duty revived?</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> Mr<br /> Goba in his cross-examination of Oosthuizen put the “withdrawal”<br /> as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “At the stage when you showed the police officers the fax and they<br /> made this decision to withdraw their officers to control traffic only<br /> and leave you and your company to secure the truck and its load, the<br /> crowd at that stage had not stormed the truck.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> evidence of Warrant Officer Jason was that when she was bowled over<br /> by the rushing crowd, she was instructed by Chief Inspector Simeon to<br /> go to the approaches to the scene with some other traffic officers<br /> and control traffic.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> As<br /> Mr Corbett pointed out, Warrant Officer Jason and her colleagues were<br /> now positioned with their backs towards the vehicles where the<br /> looting was in progress and the adage of “hear no evil”, “see<br /> no evil” and “speak no evil” was now applicable.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i><br /> held that the duty of the Police to protect the overturned vehicle<br /> and the consignment was revived when the actual looting began.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">If it is correct as<br /> alleged by Police witnesses that the Police withdrew when Rubicon<br /> allegedly took over the protection of the vehicle and consignment,<br /> then the Police duty to protect such vehicle and consignment revived<br /> as found by the Court <i>a quo</i>, when the looting began. The<br /> defence that the Police took all reasonable and necessary steps must<br /> also fail, if it is assumed, as alleged by them, that they withdrew<br /> even before the actual looting began.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">6. The<br /> defendant, its witnesses and its counsel were unable throughout the<br /> evidence and in argument to specify the so-called necessary and<br /> reasonable steps they had taken. I have set out in SECTION (IV) the<br /> steps they should have taken and had failed to take and there is no<br /> need to repeat it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">7. It is clear from defendant's plea that defendant<br /> and its counsel, as well as the<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Court <i>a quo</i> in its<br /> judgment, failed to appreciate the fact that the duty and function of<br /> the police did not begin and end with the phase when the crowd rushed<br /> towards the vehicles and allegedly overwhelmed the police, but<br /> extended over the following related but distinct phases:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase I</u>: The period<br /> beginning with the taking of control of the scene of accident until<br /> the beginning of the looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase II</u>: The<br /> period of about 45 minutes from the beginning of the looting at the<br /> scene until the looting at the scene was complete.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase III</u>: The<br /> period during which the stolen goods were actually removed from the<br /> scene and taken to the Tsumeb town and residential area and in some<br /> cases, to other Namibian destinations.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase IV</u>: The<br /> period following upon such actual removals from the scene of accident<br /> which continued for an indefinite period, within which the crime of<br /> theft continued by virtue of the legal principle that “theft is a<br /> continuing crime” – and a period within which the criminals who<br /> had committed the grave crimes of Public Violence, Robbery and Theft,<br /> had to be traced and prosecuted and efforts made to recover all, or<br /> at least some of the stolen property of the plaintiff. Although an<br /> effort was made to excuse the failure to take any effective steps at<br /> the time of the actual storming and alleged overwhelming by the mob,<br /> no real effort was made to explain and excuse the failure to take<br /> reasonable steps during the preceding period or phase to prevent such<br /> a situation developing and for not taking any reasonable steps in the<br /> ensuing period or phases.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8. The<br /> case for the defence was one of absurd and pathetic excuses and an<br /> attempt to place the blame on Rubicon Security, alternatively on<br /> unforeseen mob action which overwhelmed them.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">How and why the police<br /> allowed 80-100 cars to come and go at the scene of accident and to<br /> stop and park within meters from the overturned vehicles, and how and<br /> why they allowed up to a 800 people to also congregate in the<br /> immediate vicinity, was not and could not be explained.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.1 Mr<br /> Goba’s argument that the people of Namibia have the fundamental<br /> right of freedom of movement after Namibian independence and that<br /> this had to be respected by the police, adds insult to injury and is<br /> an absurdity not expected to be put forward in the highest Court in<br /> Namibia by a representative of a noble and respected profession and<br /> of the Government of Namibia.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">This is obvious because<br /> the fundamental freedom to “move freely throughout Namibia”<br /> provided for in Article 21(1)(9) of the Namibian Constitution, is<br /> subject to subarticle 21(2) and further obviously subject to the<br /> fundamental rights of others and the functions and duties of the<br /> police contained in the Police Act and specific provisions of the law<br /> herein referred to ensure safety at a scene of accident.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba even suggested<br /> that the police was faced with the dilemma of choosing between<br /> protecting beer and property and protecting the freedom of the people<br /> and their right not to be killed or injured. Again the obvious<br /> answer is that when the “people” disturb the public order and<br /> commit heinous crimes such as theft on a massive scale, robbery, and<br /> public violence, strong action becomes necessary to protect the<br /> innocent against their deeds and to prevent the State and society<br /> from sinking into a state of disorder, insecurity and criminality<br /> where the criminal reigns.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">8.2 It<br /> remained unclear on the police evidence whether or not any of them<br /> were at least armed with side arms (revolvers and pistols) at the<br /> scene of accident. But at any event, on the assumption that they<br /> had, it was said by Warrant Officer Jason that those in charge could<br /> not order or allow these police colleagues who had side - arms to<br /> fire even warning shots <u>above the heads of the mob</u>, because<br /> “we were afraid that our colleagues <u>may not be able to use live<br /> bullets properly and they may have injured people at the scene</u>…”.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> If<br /> the police used force to deter the mob and prevent the serious<br /> crimes, they would have been protected from liability for damages for<br /> injuries to persons by well-known legal principles as set out in the<br /> decision in <i>Chetty v Minister of Police</i></span><sup><i><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote1anc" href="#sdfootnote1sym" id="sdfootnote1anc"><sup>1</sup></a></span></i></sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><i>.<br /></i>In that decision it was held that:</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 1. There must have been reasonable grounds for thinking that because<br /> of the crowd’s behaviour there was such a danger, (commenced or<br /> imminent) of injury to persons or damage to or destruction or loss of<br /> property as to require police action.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><i> </i>Whether or not such a situation existed must be considered<br /> objectively, the question being whether a reasonable man in the<br /> position of the police would have believed that there was such a<br /> danger.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 2. The means used in an endeavour to restore order and avert such<br /> danger, and resulting in one or more members of the crowd being<br /> injured, were not excessive having regard to all the circumstances,<br /> such as the nature and extent of the danger, the likelihood of<br /> serious injury to persons, the value of the property threatened, etc<i>.</i></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.3 Police<br /> witnesses stated that they wished to arrest the agitators in the<br /> crowd, but they could not identify them. But when an obvious<br /> ringleader jumped on the Family Choice vehicle and the overturned<br /> vehicle of plaintiff and slashed open the canvas and cut the straps<br /> securing the load with a knife, the police on the scene must have<br /> been able – if they were around and not asleep – to identify at<br /> least this criminal – to attempt to deter him, and/or attempt to<br /> arrest him at the time. But the dereliction of duty becomes even<br /> more pronounced when one considers that in the days and years that<br /> followed, the police failed to take any steps to bring this<br /> particular criminal to justice for the heinous crimes committed by<br /> him. This failure supports the inference that some members of the<br /> police present at the scene tacitly approved of the looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.4 Oosthuizen<br /> gave the police a list of the numbers of vehicles that transported<br /> stolen goods from the scene. They raised no excuse for not<br /> immediately acting on this information. But then Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon testified that he had given a police sergeant instruction at<br /> the scene itself to take down the numbers of vehicles carrying the<br /> loot. Mr Goba explained that the purpose of this instruction was<br /> that “some of the thieves were from the Tsumeb community and could<br /> be followed up later during further investigations.” Mr Goba also<br /> stated that the police “observed and noted the features of the<br /> perpetrators for a future investigation”. Now if this is so, the<br /> police was in a position to act immediately after the crowd had<br /> dispersed, against the owners of the said vehicles and to attempt to<br /> recover the loot. But no action was ever taken and there was no<br /> explanation for it.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.5 When<br /> a police officer was asked why no arrest was made at the scene of<br /> accident, he replied that he did not want to risk injury to the<br /> police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">This notwithstanding that<br /> the Police Force as a professional force has certain very onerous<br /> duties of protecting members of the society and inherent in such a<br /> profession is that certain risks must be taken when duty calls. In<br /> this case the police did not even <u>attempt</u> to make one arrest.<br /> If they did and individuals in the mob obstructed them and assaulted<br /> them, the police may have had a little more credibility for their<br /> excuses put forward for not taking elementary, reasonable and<br /> available steps.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.6. The<br /> excuse by the defendant relied on to prove that the police have been<br /> prevented from doing their duty – is a socalled written authority<br /> by officials of plaintiff to Rubicon Security contained in a faxed<br /> message and also furnished to the Namibian Police, which read as<br /> follows,</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> “You<br /> are hereby given instructions to <u>arrange</u> for all security<br /> measures at the scene of accident near Tsumeb where a truck of the<br /> abovementioned company is involved”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) In<br /> my view the words – “to arrange for all security measures at the<br /> scene of accident”, is a far cry from the allegation in paragraph<br /> 6.2 of the plea that: “It was plaintiff through Rubicon Security<br /> its agent which prevented the police from guarding and protecting the<br /> motor vehicle and the goods any further by ‘informing the police<br /> that Rubicon Security <u>had been given sole responsibility to<br /> provide security for the motor vehicle and or property thereupon</u>”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The words “to arrange for<br /> all security measures” could mean and include: to report the<br /> accident to the police; to inform them of any issue and circumstance<br /> that they should know; to request the police to assist; to inform the<br /> police that they will be on the scene to represent the plaintiff;<br /> help the police to protect and secure the vehicles and load; arrange<br /> for the load to be reloaded from the stricken truck onto a truck from<br /> the firm “Family Choice” to be then taken by the “Family<br /> Choice” truck to its intended destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(ii) To<br /> supplement the shortcoming in the fax, for its defence, the defendant<br /> and its counsel attempted in the evidence to take the allegation much<br /> further by alleging that when Oosthuizen of Rubicon explained the fax<br /> and their presence to Chief Inspector Simeon and Warrant Officer<br /> Jason, he said that “Rubicon had been given <u>sole responsibility</u><br /> for the truck and its consignment by the plaintiff; that he had<br /> arranged another truck to come and collect the goods and cart them<br /> away and that the “<u>police should move over’</u>”, i.e remove<br /> themselves to make place for the Rubicon personnel.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The defence witness Warrant<br /> Officer Jason even testified that Oosthuizen said: “There is no<br /> need for your police presence. <u>Could you please take your people<br /> back because the responsibility is on my shoulders</u>”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(iii) When<br /> Simeon was cross-examined and asked whether Oosthuizen had said<br /> anything about the role of the police at the scene, Simeon answered<br /> in the negative but later again changed his evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(iv) Oosthuizen,<br /> an experienced former policeman, vehemently denied the allegations<br /> that he had told the police that he had sole responsibility and that<br /> they must please leave. He said that he had explained to the police<br /> that Rubicon Security was there to represent Dresselhaus Transport to<br /> make the necessary security arrangements and to assist the police, to<br /> arrange for the arrival of the “Family Choice” truck and ensure<br /> that the consignment of beer is transferred from the overturned truck<br /> to the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">He said that his security<br /> firm Rubicon Security had on previous occasions cooperated with the<br /> police and that he and the firm had a good relationship with the<br /> police. He referred to a previous incident in 1995 when he and his<br /> firm cooperated with the police at a riot when a crowd was<br /> successfully dispersed by <i>inter alia</i> using teargas at the<br /> premises of the Tsumeb Corporation Mine at Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The police allegation and<br /> that of Mr Goba appear to be grossly exaggerated and improbable. Why<br /> would Oosthuizen with a few men and a great responsibility have the<br /> audacity and stupidity to tell the police with all its available<br /> manpower, facilities and resources and functions and duties provided<br /> for by the Constitution, Police Act and other statutes, to “<u>move</u><br /> over”, “<u>remove themselves</u> from the scene” “<u>leave<br /> all</u> the security to his firm” etc, when he had told Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa when Munalisa arrived on the scene, that the crowd<br /> was “aggressive” and has indicated that “they intend to take<br /> the beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(v) The<br /> Court <i>a quo</i> did not make a credibility finding on this or any<br /> other issue except for its commentary that:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“In<br /> the witness box he gave the impression that he was resentful of the<br /> police and not objective.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">No reference was made in the judgment to incidents<br /> and parts of the evidence to support this observation. However, if<br /> Oosthuizen was resentful, that would only have been the natural<br /> reaction of any reasonable person in the circumstances and should not<br /> affect his credibility. In my respectful view, the Court a quo also<br /> misdirected itself in this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.6 T<u>he<br /> excuse that the family choice truck drove straight at the crowd and<br /> this angered the crowd and caused the eruption</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This defence which was not raised by defendant in its<br /> plea but raised by Mr Goba in his cross-examination and argument,<br /> appears to be an act of desperation. The “Family Choice” truck<br /> successfully moved into position alongside the overturned truck to<br /> transfer the load from the overturned truck to the said Family Choice<br /> truck. This manoevre was carried out without injuring any member of<br /> the crowd.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The driver of the truck was merely executing his<br /> contractual duty and did not interfere with any right of members of<br /> the crowd. The alleged driving “straight at the crowd” was an<br /> exaggeration by Mr Goba and no excuse for the mob’s behaviour.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Yes, members of the crowd may have been angry but<br /> why? Is it not obvious that in view of their criminal intention to<br /> loot the consignment of beer, they now realised if they don’t go<br /> over to drastic action to do so, the opportunity would be lost<br /> because of the imminent removal of the potential loot from the scene<br /> of accident to a safer haven. They then used the opportunity given<br /> by the scoundrel who cut the canvas and straps securing the load.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.7 <u>The<br /> excuses for not using teargas</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) The<br /> facts and circumstances set out in this judgment of the progressive<br /> development of a congregation of many motor vehicles and a large<br /> crowd at a scene of accident on a public road and this crowd becoming<br /> gradually unruly, aggressive and clearly indicating an intention to<br /> loot property valued at N$160 000.00 which was secured on an<br /> overturned truck, notwithstanding the presence of the police and<br /> personnel of a security firm, justified in my respectful view the use<br /> of teargas. It was unreasonable not to have prepared for the use of<br /> teargas and not to use it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">In this regard evidence<br /> was given by an expert witness such as Mr Oosthuizen, a former<br /> policeman with long experience and Inspector Jason, who had<br /> previously been part of the police and security company personnel who<br /> together had used teargas successfully to disperse an illegal crowd<br /> at TCL Mining Corporation at Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Oosthuizen testified<br /> that in his opinion the use of teargas was justified. The point was<br /> also made that the use of teargas could not result in serious<br /> injury”, that the scene of accident was in an open space where a<br /> dispersing crowd would have the open veld to move into. There was<br /> also no possibility of a stampede wherein people could be injured.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Even if<br /> there could be argument about the stage when teargas should have been<br /> used, it cannot be doubted that once the aggressive mood and criminal<br /> intent of the crowd became clear, the use of teargas was justified.<br /> This justification was strengthened where the gathering developed<br /> into a violent mob committing Public Violence, Robbery and Theft on a<br /> very serious scale. Failure to use teargas at this and subsequent<br /> stages was in itself negligence. Obviously, there were several other<br /> reasonable steps that could have been taken at the various stages as<br /> indicated in this judgment and nothing said in this section about the<br /> use of teargas, is meant to excuse the failure to have taken the<br /> various steps discussed at the various stages or phases.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) The learned judge <i>a quo</i><br /> held that “it was too late to leave the scene to fetch teargas or<br /> rubber bullets and Mr Oosthuizen had clearly demonstrated that rubber<br /> bullets and dogs would not deter the crowd.”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"> I<br /> cannot agree with this argument, <i>inter alia</i> for the following<br /> reasons:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"> One could not<br /> expect two dogs to deter the crowd if the police force itself have<br /> brought no dogs, were mostly unarmed, had no rubber bullets and no<br /> gas, remained passive throughout and at no stage showed the crowd<br /> that they are determined to take appropriate and drastic action if<br /> the crowd attempted to take the consignment of beer. The learned<br /> judge should have appreciated that the police, who are by the<br /> Constitution and the Police Act mandated to maintain law and order,<br /> preserve internal security, prevent crime, protect life and property<br /> and investigate crime, would be in a better position to act<br /> effectively and make an impression on the crowd.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"> The<br /><u>argument that it was too late</u> to fetch teargas:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The question then arises:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Why did they not fetch it<br /> earlier e.g. when Chief Inspector Munalisa returned. Considering<br /> that they could instantly communicate with the police station and<br /> move to and from within minutes, why would they have had any<br /> difficulty to equip some of their personnel at short notice with<br /> teargas.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) The learned judge said<br /> that:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; font-style: normal; line-height: 100%"><br /> “the crowd consisted of men women and children and many of these<br /> people were probably innocent! There is no justification for<br /> contending that there was a common purpose amongst the members of the<br /> crowd to steal beer.”</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The judge on the next page of<br /> his judgment said that the police was overwhelmed by <u>irresistible<br /> force</u>. The question then is if many in the crowd were innocent,<br /> what and who in the crowd constituted “the irresistible force”?<br /> There must have been a large number of the crowd who actively<br /> participated if one considers that 3744 cartons of beer were carried<br /> off and removed in about ¾ of an hour.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Surely<br /> at least those who stormed towards the vehicles and had a criminal<br /> intent, made up a large part of the crowd and all those who in any<br /> way associated with those that stormed, robbed and stole the beer and<br /> committed public violence, by their association with the others, were<br /> a proper target for rubber bullets and teargas. If some of the crowd<br /> were innocent, they had no reason to stay at the scene for hours and<br /> to associate by their continued presence and even after warning shots<br /> were fired, with those who were the agitators and the activists. If<br /> in such a situation the police use rubber bullets and teargas, any so<br /> called “innocent” civilians who suffers some discomfort, must<br /> blame him or herself. If such a possibility should prevent the<br /> Namibian police from using rubber bullets and teargas, there will be<br /> no deterrent for mob violence, public disorder and crimes such as<br /> robbery, theft and public violence.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I<br /> regret with respect that I have to reject the argument put forward by<br /> the learned presiding judge in the Court <i>a quo</i> also in this<br /> respect. </font><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iv) Mr Goba’s written<br /> submission before us that the Court <i>a quo</i> found that “the<br /> use of teargas under such circumstances would have amounted to an<br /> excessive use of force” is incorrect. The Court never made such a<br /> finding as appears from my above quotation from the judgment.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION<br /> VI</u>: <u>WAS THE STORMING AND LOOTING AND ENSUING LOSS FORSEEABLE<br /> AND PREVENTABLE</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">1. The<br /> point of departure for this discussion is that the Namibian Police<br /> Force had in fact failed to execute its functions as laid down in the<br /> Namibian Constitution and the Police Act as stated in paragraph 19 of<br /> SECTION (IV) supra.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">2. The Court <i>a quo</i> found:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“On<br /> the evidence placed before me, I find that the Namibian Police had no<br /> reasonable grounds for anticipating a riot and theft of beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i> stated further that it was<br /> neither foreseeable by Oosthuizen nor the police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In my respectful view the Court <i>a quo</i><br /> misdirected itself in this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.1 In<br /> dealing with the argument that the police should have foreseen the<br /> eventuality of the crowd storming and looting, the learned presiding<br /> judge however said at one stage:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “If Mr Oosthuizen with his credentials <u>did not foresee this<br /> eventuality and dispensed with police assistance</u>, there is no<br /> reason why the police should have foreseen the sudden change in the<br /> mood of the crowd. It ill-behoves Mr Oosthuizen, <u>who<br /> categorically rejected and scorned police help</u>, to cry ‘foul’”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">For this finding, the learned judge <i>a quo</i> did<br /> not refer to and consider Oosthuizen’s vehement rejection of the<br /> allegations made by some police officers that he had told them that<br /> his firm had sole responsibility and that the police must move over<br /> or even remove themselves from the scene. The learned judge also did<br /> not analyse the probabilities mentioned above. A reading of<br /> Oosthuizen’s evidence gives the impression that he was experienced,<br /> knowledgeable, and clear and did not contradict himself on any issue.<br /> I cannot say this from a reading of the evidence of State witnesses<br /> such as Chief Inspector Simeon and Warrant Officer Jason who was a<br /> Warrant Officer at the time of the incident but since then promoted<br /> to the rank of “inspector”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It seems that another witness on the plaintiff’s<br /> side was also ignored. So e.g. there is no mention of the evidence<br /> of Griffiths, the driver of the Dresselhaus vehicle, who said that<br /> when Rubicon arrived on the scene they explained to him that they are<br /> there to assist the police in securing the truck and its load.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In my respectful view the Court misdirected itself in<br /> this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.2 The<br /> Court ignored the uncontradicted evidence by Oosthuizen that the<br /> crowd was aggressive and clearly indicated beforehand that they had<br /> come to take the beer; that he told Chief Inspector Munalisa so when<br /> he arrived on the scene; that Chief Inspector Munalisa then called<br /> for reinforcements. This evidence was not contradicted by any<br /> defence witness and was indeed common cause.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.3 Chief<br /> Inspector Simeon contradicted himself on many occasions. At one<br /> stage he said that “the situation was under control”. Under<br /> cross-examination Simeon conceded that the crowd was of concern to<br /> Munalisa. On the question – “why would it be a matter of concern<br /> if there were many people at the scene? What could the possible<br /> consequences be? Simeon replied: “The people can storm the<br /> overturned truck to get the beer. It was his opinion.” “So he<br /> expressed an opinion at that stage before you left the police station<br /> that he had a concern that the people could storm the truck and take<br /> the beer is that correct? That’s correct My Lord.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.4 Inspector<br /> Jason said in regard to her testimony that the public were insulting<br /> and harassing the police:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Question: “You<br /> said they were insulting and harassing you. What precisely were they<br /> doing or saying?</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">“Answer: “Just<br /> to say – ‘you fucking police’ – ‘daai bier is nie jou ma se<br /> bier nie, is nie jou wat nie” that the type of words…-</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Questions: “Were<br /> they indicating why they were angry or aggressive?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “No<br /> according to them they are mentioning that that is not our mothers<br /> beer, we must not control them and such type of words.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Questions: “Can<br /> I assume that they were angry because you were protecting the beer<br /> and they wanted to take the beer – is that right”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “I<br /> think so.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.5 Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa was not called by the defendant as a witness. No<br /> explanation was placed on record why not. In the absence of an<br /> explanation the inference must be drawn that he could not support the<br /> defence case.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">3. The Court <i>a quo</i> nevertheless further<br /> argued:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) “For<br /> four hours, except for one or two persons, the crowd had not been<br /> hostile or threatening….” This alleged fact was not a fact and<br /> not supported by the evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(ii) “Was<br /> there reason to believe that a crowd of approximately 2000 average<br /> Namibians, men women and children would suddenly be thieves?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This was another misdirection by the Court <i>a quo</i>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">3.1 There<br /> was no credible evidence that the crowd was 2000 at any stage. The<br /> Court itself found that at the critical time there was about 800<br /> people.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It must be obvious that many in the crowd that<br /> congregated, were not standing there for hours out of curiosity to<br /> see the overturned vehicle. And obviously they did not all stand<br /> there for four hours. Nevertheless, the fact that the crowd was<br /> gradually growing on a working day and a day when most children will<br /> be at school, indicated that most of those who arrived, were not<br /> there out of curiosity and certainly were not women and children.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba was however nearer to the mark when he at one<br /> stage ventured the following explanation:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “The crowd suddenly increases we don’t know why – presumably<br /> somebody went spreading in the township – we don’t know.<br /> ---presumably words spreading in the township, there’s probably –<br /> we’re going to have a feast today, there’s a truck fallen –<br /> there’s a lot of beer and people start streaming, you know…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba’s presumption of the aforesaid <u>probability</u>,<br /> makes sense. But if this was the probable cause of people moving to<br /> the scene of the accident, it means that they had the intent to loot<br /> the fallen truck and its load of beer to have a feast. It also<br /> follows that those who went to the scene did not go out of curiosity,<br /> but because they wanted to steal and thus they were not innocent<br /> people exercising their freedom to move freely around in Namibia, but<br /> intent on committing a serious crime or crimes because of their<br /> thirst for free beer.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba further contended:</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “With the passage of time the crowd which was <u>mainly</u> made up<br /> of <u>women and children and some males</u> increased…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba here distorted the evidence. The pages of<br /> the record referred to does not contain such evidence. No witness<br /> testified to that effect that the crowd consisted <u>mainly</u> of<br /> women and children. It seems that this distorted statement about<br /> “mainly women and children” was put forward to justify the<br /> argument that teargas or other violent means could not be used<br /> because the crowd was mainly made up of women and children.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Later on, Mr Goba further embroidered on his<br /> submission when he emphasized that there were “pregnant woman and<br /> babies” in the crowd. Mr Goba however admitted at one stage:<br /> “Among the crowd <u>certain murmurs were heard demanding to be<br /> allowed to take the beer</u>…” This supports the fact that the<br /> demands were clear at an early stage – long before the actual<br /> storming. But then Mr Goba continued: “…<u>on the basis that it<br /> was damaged, hence not of much value to the owners and insured</u>.”<br /> This excuse again does not appear on the pages of the record and is<br /> clearly an excuse offered by Mr Goba in mitigation of the mob’s<br /> scandalous behaviour.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba continued:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “The murmurs turned to <u>shouts and insults</u> by some<br /> instigators among the crowd such that at a later stage Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa was booed when he addressed the crowd at about<br /> 10:00.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">There was not a crowd of about 2000 peaceful<br /> Namibians who were peaceful for four hours and then suddenly erupted<br /> into a violent and criminal mob, robbing, stealing and committing the<br /> grave crime of public violence. There was rather a gradual build-up<br /> to that stage which was clearly observable by the police and Rubicon<br /> Security and was in fact observed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">3.4 The<br /> storming and looting was foreseeable if not from the very beginning –<br /> then at least from an earlier stage when much more effective steps<br /> could have been taken to prevent it. But even if it could not have<br /> been prevented <i>in toto</i>, the progressive build-up of a crowd<br /> and vehicles at the scene could have and should have been prevented;<br /> effective steps could have been taken to disperse the crowd at an<br /> earlier stage or at least act against the perpetrators by arresting<br /> and later prosecuting them and recovering all or most of the stolen<br /> goods at a later stage – once the mob had dispersed. As previously<br /> indicated, the Court <i>a quo</i> directed all its attention to the<br /> stage when the crowd stormed the vehicles and the looting began, and<br /> the question whether the storming and looting was foreseeable,<br /> instead of focussing and evaluating the events during the various<br /> phases or periods discussed in <u>SECTION V, paragraph 7 supra</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Even if the storming and<br /> initial looting was not foreseeable, then it was at any event<br /> foreseeable that in the phases that followed, the culprits would go<br /> free and the loot, the property obtained by the culprits by means of<br /> theft, robbery and public violence, would be irretrievably lost to<br /> its owners or those that legally acquired their rights, <u>unless<br /> effective and reasonable steps were taken by the police in terms of<br /> the Constitution and the Police Act to prevent the loss</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">4. <u>Was the loss preventable</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court also found that the police could not<br /> prevent the loss because they were faced by “<i>vis major</i>” or<br /> “irresistible force”. I with respect, cannot agree with this<br /> finding in the light of the facts, circumstances and reasons set out<br /> in the various sections of this judgment. Simply put, in my<br /> respectful view, there was no irresistible force confronting the<br /> Namibian Police at any stage.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Alternatively, the Police Force cannot shield behind<br /> such an excuse when it failed to take effective and reasonable steps<br /> beforehand to prevent such a situation to develop when there were<br /> ominous signs of such an eventuality.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Furthermore, even if there developed an “irresistible<br /> force” which applied at a particular moment or stage, that is no<br /> excuse for not taking reasonable steps to arrest and prosecute the<br /> criminals and to recover the property or part of it in the stages<br /> immediately following when there was ample opportunity to do so. At<br /> no stage did the police explain why they were unable to retrieve any<br /> of the property during those stages or phases.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">4.1 If<br /> the Namibian police was hampered by lack of training or education or<br /> scarcity of vehicles and equipment, or lack of leadership qualities,<br /> or uncertainty about who was in charge at the scene of accident –<br /> which became a scene of crime, such problems must be urgently<br /> addressed, but does not afford a lawful excuse for the Namibian<br /> Police as an institution, not to have properly executed their legal<br /> functions and duties towards the plaintiff at the scene of accident<br /> before, during and after the heinous crimes were committed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION VII</u>: <u>THE ALLEGATION THAT SOME<br /> MEMBERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE THEMSELVES INCITED THE CROWD AND<br /> TOOK SOME OF THE CONTAINERS OF BEER FROM THE OVERTURNED VEHICLE OF<br /> THE PLAINTIFF</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This grave allegation that beer was taken by the<br /> police from the vehicle itself was first made by Griffiths, the<br /> driver of the overturned vehicle and later also by Oosthuizen of<br /> Rubicon Security.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The allegation that policemen who were standing at<br /> the back said that the stock was already insured and the people could<br /> take it was made only by Oosthuizen in his evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Griffiths specifically testified that he saw police<br /> as well as people with company cars like that from Telecom <u>off<br /> loading</u> beers from the overturned truck after the canvas was cut<br /> and the straps severed, and he saw the police take the boxes of beer<br /> off, loaded by then and load it into a police vehicle with which he<br /> was at some stage given a lift into town to get a tele-card.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Griffiths furthermore testified that he subsequently<br /> saw and heard a traffic officer warning a regular police officer<br /> “that you will be in trouble loading these beers on the police<br /> van.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Notwithstanding the clear allegation made by<br /> plaintiff in its particulars of claim that the police took containers<br /> of beer from the overturned vehicle and placed it on a police<br /> vehicle, Mr Goba now commenced a confusing line of cross-examination.<br /> He asked:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Question: “So if I put it that the beer that was<br /> found on the police van was placed there by one of the gentlemen who<br /> had been with you when the police first came…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “I don’t believe it Your Worship.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">On further questions Griffiths explained that the<br /> only persons with him after the accident were his nephews who came to<br /> visit him at the scene of the accident and they were school children<br /> – they don’t drink beer and they did not put cases of beer onto a<br /> police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Goba further put it to the witness that those cases<br /> of beer were removed from the police van on the instructions of a<br /> police officer. That was not contested.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The presiding judge then started putting a new<br /> possible defence to the witness as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Now you testified that a policeman put cases of beer into a police<br /> car. Sometimes the police take charge, look after damaged property<br /> and put it into their vehicles to protect it. Is it possible that<br /> this policeman who put it in his van in the car was putting it there<br /> in order to protect it? Answer: “That I couldn’t say Your<br /> Lordship.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It should be observed that up to that stage Mr Goba<br /> had not raised that defence at all.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen’s clear and<br /> unambiguous evidence in this regard was as follows:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “You’ve testified the crowd was stealing the beer, did you see<br /> any police person on the scene trying to prevent this happening?”<br /> Answer: “Your Lordship, after we withdrew, I have seen that nobody<br /> was rejected from taking the stock. As we moved to the back of the<br /> car, (meant overturned vehicle) <u>I saw a police officer jumped on<br /> the truck and took, a sergeant jumped on the truck and make use of<br /> the opportunity and take himself some beer</u>. <u>From the police<br /> that were standing at the back said that the stock was already<br /> insured and the people can take it</u>. <u>The beer that was taken<br /> by a police officer was then put into what we call a Venture with<br /> number POL 4468</u>. I went to Chief Inspector Ashipala who stood<br /> with Chief Inspector Simeon. Chief Inspector Ashipala was dressed in<br /> civilian clothes. I told him that the beer were loaded on a police<br /> van. We then together went with him to the police van. I showed him<br /> where the beer was hidden under a police uniform – a blue police<br /> uniform. At that moment there were two police sergeants with one<br /> female police. We moved back where Chief Inspector Simeon and<br /> Inspector Ashipala was standing and discussing. Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon informed Inspector Ashipala that he cannot send his officials<br /> into the crowd with the fact that he’s afraid they will get injured<br /> or hurt….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">On further questions Oosthuizen said that beer was<br /> not removed from the police vehicle in his presence. On questions as<br /> to why the beer was placed in the police vehicle in the first place<br /> Oosthuizen said:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “What I can say is that people took things as I have said from the<br /> truck for their own benefit. So the police even went on top of the<br /> truck, get themselves the beer for themselves….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “After I finished the discussion with Chief Inspector Simeon and<br /> Inspector Ashipala, I personally took the task and go about writing<br /> down all numbers and number plates of the private cars which were<br /> loaded with this beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In cross-examination Mr Goba put it to Oosthuizen<br /> that:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “I am instructed that the <u>driver of the motor vehicle which<br /> overturned</u>, Mr Griffiths had been with another gentlemen on the<br /> truck and towards the end of all the looting procedures this man<br /> approached a police sergeant who was standing at this particular<br /> police vehicle with his bags and this case of beer and requested the<br /> police to give him a lift into town since he didn’t have transport<br /> and he told the police, he was asked about the beer that he had with<br /> him and he said that the beer had been damaged and was written off so<br /> there was no problem with him taking the beer with him. Do you know<br /> anything about that?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen wanted clarification and asked: “Is it<br /> the person with Mr Griffiths or Mr Griffiths himself?” Answer by<br /> Goba: “The person with Mr Griffiths.” Answer by Oosthuizen: “I<br /> don’t know such a person – My Lord.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Goba now put to Oosthuizen a new and confusing<br /> version quite different from that put to Griffiths. Question:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Now Mr Oosthuizen – my instruction are and evidence will be led<br /> in this regard if necessary, that <u>in fact as the crowd was taking<br /> the beer from the truck and placed on the ground and the police would<br /> in the process attempt to take the beer and keep it themselves but<br /> then other people in the crowd would came and take the beer from the<br /> police as well. What do you say about that?”</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen appears to have misunderstood what was now<br /> put to him and answered: “………it is <u>possible</u> that the<br /> beer was put down there by the police and it is possible that the<br /> people grabbed it and walked away with it…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">What Oosthuizen answered was consistent with his<br /> former testimony that a police person offloaded the beer from the<br /> truck and was not an admission that the police may have taken beer<br /><u>off loaded by members of the crowd</u> and put by these members on<br /> the ground, then taken by the police and then retaken by members of<br /> the crowd.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">What Goba here put to Oosthuizen is fundamentally<br /> different from what was put to Griffiths. One wonders why, if “other<br /> people in the crowd would come and take the beer from the police”<br /> the said police could not at least have attempted to arrest such<br /> people or resist such retaking.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">And now at last, Mr Goba moved over to the line<br /> previously suggested by the learned judge as a defence. Goba asked:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Furthermore Mr Oosthuizen is <u>it not possible that this beer</u><br /> might have been placed in that police van in order to secure it?”<br /> Answer: “My Lord if I do take things and I put it in a police<br /> vehicle for security purposes then I would not cover it with police<br /> jackets etc.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is noteworthy that Mr Goba continued with this<br /> vague form of cross-examination asking about whether this or that is<br /> possible, without once putting a firm proposition such as e.g.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“Chief<br /> Inspector Mr X will testify that he would deny that the beer was<br /> taken from the overturned vehicle! That it was taken from the ground<br /> whereon members of the crowd had placed it. That they put it in a<br /> police vehicle to secure it!”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The <u>possibility</u> suggested by Goba that the<br /> boxes of beer was put in the police vehicle to protect it from the<br /> looters is obviously also in direct conflict with his first effort<br /> where he tried to place the blame on an alleged colleague of the<br /> driver Griffiths who according to Goba, actually placed the beer in<br /> the police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In conclusion Mr Goba put another “possibility”<br /> to Oosthuizen as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “I just want to find out from you Mr Oosthuizen <u>is it not<br /> possible</u> that, in fact what you are telling the Court about this<br /> beers <u>is something that you heard from the driver of the motor<br /> vehicle and not what you yourself</u>, personally saw?” Answer:<br /> “<u>My Lord I have</u> seen it <u>personally with my own two eyes</u>.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba later in his cross-examination stated that<br /> Ashipala actually spoke to a sergeant about the beer in response to<br /> the report made by Oosthuizen to him. It is necessary for me to<br /> observe that the cross-examination by Mr Goba on this crucial issue<br /> was a fishing expedition and did not constitute proper<br /> cross-examination. There was also no proper rebuttal by the<br /> witnesses later called by the defence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is also important to note that Mr Goba did not<br /> take issue with Oosthuizen on his other grave allegation to the<br /> effect that some policemen standing at the back of the truck even<br /> justified a taking by the public on the ground “that the stock was<br /> already insured and the people can take it.” Not only was no<br /> member of the public prosecuted but no police person was prosecuted,<br /> notwithstanding the complaint.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In the circumstances the evidence by Griffiths and<br /> Oosthuizen were not properly contested and should have been<br /> considered and accepted by the Court <i>a quo</i>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">According to the Court <i>a quo</i>, Inspector Jason<br /> testified that she saw members of the police remove cases of beer<br /> from members of the crowd. “While there is no evidence to link<br /> these cases to the cases of beer Mr Oosthuizen saw the police put<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">into a police vehicle, he in any event demanded that<br /> the beer be removed from the police vehicle. If these cases of beer<br /> had been taken into police custody, where were these cases to be put<br /> if they were not to be put into a police vehicle? Members of the<br /> crowd swarmed over the trailers and it appears as if a police vehicle<br /> would have been a good place to put such cases.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The learned judge <i>a quo</i> here failed to make<br /> any finding as he should have done on the uncontested evidence of<br /> Oosthuizen and Griffiths, about cases of beer removed from the<br /> overturned vehicle by certain police persons and placed in a police<br /> vehicle. The Court also failed to make a finding on whether or not<br /> the cases of beer allegedly taken by the police from members of the<br /> crowd, were in fact so taken. According to Mr Goba in his<br /> cross-examination, cases of beer taken by the police from members of<br /> the crowd, <u>were retaken by the crowd from the police</u>. If that<br /> is so the beer so taken from the crowd and retaken by members of the<br /> crowd could not be an explanation of the containers of beer seen in<br /> the police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">A finding by the Court whether or not such cases were<br /> taken by the police from members of the public and placed by the<br /> police in the police vehicle, would have been relevant and even<br /> necessary in view of the serious implications of the issue. But<br /> instead the Court again goes no further than again speculating on the<br /> issue as the Court had done when it first speculated in the course of<br /> cross-examination by Mr Goba on such a possible defence. The Court<br /> now says: “<u>If</u> these cases of beer had been taken into<br /> custody, where were these cases to be put in a police vehicle?” In<br /> so speculating, the Court failed to consider and make a finding or at<br /> least comment on the other conflicting versions put forward by Mr<br /> Goba in his cross-examination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i> also wrongly failed to<br /> consider and make a finding as it should have done on Oosthuizen’s<br /> uncontested and uncontradicted evidence about police persons standing<br /> at the back of the truck who justified the looting by saying that<br /> “the stock was already insured and the people can take it”. It<br /> is also clear from the above that the Court wrongly failed to<br /> consider the impact of these acts of commission on the outcome of the<br /> case.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The aforesaid evidence is important, because if<br /> accepted, it would have helped to explain the inaction of the police,<br /> except for the effort of Chief Inspector Munalisa, before he also<br /> left the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It stands to reason that such conduct by some<br /> policemen would have given those in the crowd with criminal intent<br /> the impression that the police was with them and that they had<br /> nothing to fear from the police if they loot the property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The said evidence would also mean that there were not<br /> only acts of omission by the police, but acts of commission, which<br /> are <u>presumed</u> to be unlawful.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION<br /> VIII</u>: <u>THE LAW OF DELICT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE</u>.</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> view of the fact that there does not seem to be any serious<br /> disagreement between counsel for the parties, I need not and do not<br /> intend to extend this already long judgment unduly.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><u><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> Minister of Police v Ewels</font></u><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote2anc" href="#sdfootnote2sym" id="sdfootnote2anc"><sup>2</sup></a></font></sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><br /> it was held that a negligent omission will be regarded as unlawful<br /> conduct when the circumstances of the case are of such a nature that<br /> the omission evokes not only moral indignation, but that the ‘legal<br /> convictions of the community’ require that it should be regarded as<br /> unlawful. The Court in Ewels had no hesitation in pronouncing that a<br /> legal duty existed and rested on police members who refrained from<br /> protecting Ewels when assaulted at the police station. In arriving<br /> at its conclusion the Court took into account –</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(i) the<br /> statutory duties of the police;</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) the<br /> fact that the assault took place on the premises of the police<br /> station;</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) the particular<br /> relationship of protection between a member of the police force and<br /> an ordinary person; and the fact that the on-duty police could have<br /> intervened on behalf of the assaulted plaintiff without any<br /> difficulty.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the more recent case of <i>Minister of Safety and Security v van<br /> Duivensboden</i>,</font><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote3anc" href="#sdfootnote3sym" id="sdfootnote3anc"><sup>3</sup></a></font></sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><br /> The South African Supreme Court of Appeal dealt with the legal issues<br /> relevant to the instant case.</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>The facts of this case were briefly:</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">One B owned two licensed<br /> firearms. He habitually consumed alcohol to excess and while under<br /> the influence of liquor, was inclined to become aggressive and abuse<br /> his family. On 25 October 1995 a domestic squabble between B and his<br /> wife developed in the course of which B shot and killed his wife and<br /> young daughter. He also shot the respondent in the ankle and<br /> shoulder.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The police had prior to this<br /> been in possession of information which reflected on B’s fitness to<br /> possess firearms long before the respondent had been shot. While<br /> some of the information had emanated from B wife, members of the<br /> police had had direct information as a result of two occasions on<br /> which they had been summoned to defuse B’s threats to shoot his<br /> wife and family. The second of these occasions when the police<br /> entered the house after a siege lasting many hours, they found that B<br /> had lined up at least 20 boxes of spare ammunition and had reduced<br /> the house to a shambles.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The respondent sought to recover<br /> from the Minister of Safety and Security the damages he had sustained<br /> as a result of his injuries on the grounds that although the police<br /> officers had known, from the events of 27 September 1994, that B was<br /> unfit to possess firearms, they negligently had failed to take steps<br /> available to them in terms of Section 11 of the Act to deprive B of<br /> firearms. As a result of that failure, B had still been in<br /> possession of firearms on 25<sup>th</sup> October 1995 when<br /> respondent was shot.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The respondent’s claim was<br /> dismissed by a single judge but allowed on appeal to the full bench.<br /> The Minister then appealed to the Supreme Court of appeal but the<br /> appeal was rejected. Although reliance was placed by the Court of<br /> appeal on provisions of the South African Constitution which are not<br /> contained in the Namibian Constitution, the fundamental right to life<br /> and property is fundamentally the same. In any case the legal duties<br /> which rest on the Namibian police and </font><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%">through them on the<br /> Government and the State, are clearly set out in the various articles<br /> of the Constitution and in the Police Act as set out in SECTION III<br /> of this judgment.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the aforesaid decision the Court held <i>inter alia</i>:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(i) Negligence is not<br /> inherently unlawful. It is unlawful, and thus actionable, only if it<br /> occurs in circumstances that the law recognizes as making it<br /> unlawful. Unlike the case of a <u>positive act causing physical<br /> harm, which is presumed to be unlawful</u>, a negligent omission is<br /> unlawful only if it occurs in circumstances that the law regards as<br /> sufficient to give rise to a legal duty to avoid negligently causing<br /> harm.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) “There is no<br /> effective way to hold the State to account in the present case other<br /> than by way of an action for damages and, in the absence of any norm<br /> or consideration of public policy that outweighs it, the<br /> constitutional norm of accountability requires that a legal duty be<br /> recognized. The negligent conduct of the police officers in those<br /> circumstances is thus actionable and the State is vicariously liable<br /> for the consequences of any such negligence.”</font><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote4anc" href="#sdfootnote4sym" id="sdfootnote4anc"><sup>4</sup></a></font></sup></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In the case of <i>Carmichele v<br /> Minister of Safety and Security</i>, the South African Constitutional<br /> Court upheld an appeal against a decision of the High Court and the<br /> Supreme Court of Appeal dismissing an action for damages by<br /> Carmichele, a woman, who had been brutally assaulted by one C at the<br /> house of a Mrs G.</font></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%">The action was based<br /> on alleged omissions by the police and the Public Prosecutor which<br /> resulted in the release of C on bail on previous charges of Rape,<br /> when there was information available to the police and through them<br /> to the prosecutor, of C’s previous conviction and crimes which may<br /> have resulted in bail being refused if the magistrate was given the<br /> correct information.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">C’s brutal assault on<br /> Carmichael was perpetrated when he was on bail.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The High Court had granted<br /> absolution from the instance. The Constitutional Court now remitted<br /> the case for a proper hearing to the High Court. The argument before<br /> the Constitutional Court centred on the implicit duty of the Courts<br /> to develop the common law in accordance with the letter and spirit of<br /> the common law, wherever the existing common law does not meet the<br /> requirements of justice in accordance with the South African<br /> Constitution.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The Court held <i>inter alia</i><br /> that there was a duty on the State and its organs not to perform any<br /> act that infringed the fundamental rights entrenched in the South<br /> African Constitution and further held that in some circumstances<br /> there would also be a positive component obliging the State and its<br /> organs to provide adequate protection to everyone through laws and<br /> structures designed to afford such protection – the Constitution<br /> did not draw a distinction between acts of commission and omission in<br /> this regard.</font></p><br /><p style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="line-height: 100%">It must be noted that the South African<br /> Constitutional Court did not finally decide the matter because the<br /> facts still had to be decided by the High Court and findings made<br /> applying the law to the facts. However the Constitutional Court held<br /> that a prosecutor’s negligence not to place relevant information<br /> before the magistrate relating to an application for bail, could<br /> result in awarding damages to a plaintiff who had been injured by a<br /> criminal wrongly released on bail, because the prosecutor had failed<br /> to supply available relevant information to the Court.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the decision of <i>Van Eden v Minister of Safety and Security</i>,<br /> the South African Supreme Court of Appeal awarded damages to the<br /> plaintiff where the plaintiff, a 19 year old woman, was sexually<br /> assaulted, raped and robbed by M, a known dangerous criminal and<br /> serial rapist who had escaped from police custody.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> plaintiff claimed that the police owed her a duty to take reasonable<br /> steps to prevent M from escaping and causing harm. The Court <i>a<br /> quo</i> dismissed plaintiff’s claim but the Supreme Court allowed<br /> the appeal and made the following order:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">1. It is declared that the<br /> conduct of the defendant’s servants was wrongful and that the<br /> defendant is liable to the plaintiff for such damages as she is able<br /> to prove…”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p>As motivation for the Court’s order the Court held that the<br /> police owed the appellant a legal duty to act positively to prevent<br /> Mohamed’s escape. The learned judge who wrote the judgment said<br /> that:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.35in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “the existence of such a duty accords with what I would perceive to<br /> be the legal convictions of the community and there are no<br /> considerations of public policy militating against the imposition of<br /> such a duty. To sum up, I have reached this conclusion mainly in<br /> view of the State’s Constitutional imperatives to which I have<br /> referred; the fact that the police had control over Mohamed who was<br /> known to be a dangerous criminal and who was likely to commit further<br /> sexual offences against women should he escape; and the fact that<br /> measures to prevent his escape could reasonably and practically have<br /> been taken by the police….”</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>Although the Namibian Constitution does not contain an explicit<br /> provision that the Courts must adapt the common law where it does not<br /> accord with the letter and spirit of the common law, the NAMIBIAN<br /> Constitution and Police Act, not only amplifies the common law in<br /> relation to the Law of Delict, but overrides it where the common law<br /> is inconsistent or inadequate.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>Although the Namibian Constitution and statute law are the main<br /> sources of law on which the Namibian Courts must rely in deciding the<br /> legal issues arising in this case, the South African decisions<br /> discussed herein, afford useful guidelines also for the Namibian<br /> Courts.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION<br /> IX</u>: <u>CONCLUDING REMARKS</u></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> events at Tsumeb on 21<sup>st</sup> August 2000 can only be<br /> described as shocking and scandalous. It is a blemish on Namibia<br /> and Namibians, its Rule of Law, its administration of justice, and<br /> the Namibian Police, its level of competence and its ability and<br /> commitment to perform its functions and duties laid down by the<br /> Namibian Constitution, the Police Act and other statutes.</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.25in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"> It is also<br /> particularly disturbing that such a large section of a Namibian<br /> community could willingly participate in such serious and heinous<br /> crimes. No wonder that serious crimes have escalated in recent years<br /> in Namibia.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Grave crimes were<br /> committed in the presence of the police and they pleaded <i>inter<br /> alia</i> that they were overrun by a mob and were unable to prevent<br /> it. The position is however aggravated by the fact that the police<br /> failed to take any action against the perpetrators after being<br /> “overrun”. So e.g. no steps were taken to recover the property,<br /> but also no prosecutions were ever instituted, notwithstanding the<br /> commission of grave and heinous crimes in broad daylight in their<br /> presence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">2. There was much<br /> speculation in this case about the reasons for the crowd’s<br /> behaviour. Unfortunately, the events at Tsumeb, were not the first<br /> and only such occurrence in Namibia.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">I may mention that in evidence under<br /> oath given at public hearings of the “Judicial Commission of<br /> Enquiry into Legislation for the more effective combating of crime in<br /> Namibia”, chaired by myself, it became clear that several incidents<br /> of the same nature had taken place in Namibia.</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">The phenomenon was regarded as so<br /> serious and so objectionable, that the Commission in its written<br /> report to the President dated 12 August 1997 recommended that<br /> provision is made in the envisaged new Criminal Procedure Act for a<br /> minimum sentence of two (2) year imprisonment and a maximum sentence<br /> of eighteen (18) years, for the crime of Theft, <u>committed at or<br /> from a place of accident or scene of crime</u>. The crime is<br /> obviously much more serious when committed by a violent mob,<br /> amounting to Robbery and Public Violence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">At page 625 of the report the<br /> Commission motivated this recommendation as follows:</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.35in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Various forms of theft which<br /> have become particularly damaging or prejudicial to the individual<br /> and/or the State and/or where the society’s <u>disapproval</u><br /> should be marked, have been selected for the regime of maximum and<br /> minimum sentences.”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.35in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>One would have thought that when a civilized person arrives at a<br /> scene of accident, such person would be inclined to establish whether<br /> he/she could be of any assistance, rather than engage in robbing and<br /> stealing and even joining a mob to rob and steal, disrupt public<br /> order and commit Public Violence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>It is in the public interest of Namibia and all its citizens that<br /> steps are urgently taken to prevent and discourage the development of<br /> a culture where people believe that it is right to plunder and loot<br /> the persons and property involved in an accident and that such<br /> plunder and looting carries the approval of the Namibian Police, will<br /> not be prevented and/or discouraged by the police and will go<br /> unpunished.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3. I have no doubt<br /> in this case that:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.1. The Namibian<br /> Police had a legal duty provided for in the Namibian Constitution and<br /> Police Act towards the plaintiff, to protect the plaintiff and its<br /> property. The aforesaid legal duty also amounted to a “duty of<br /> care” as known in the Law of Delict.</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.2. The police<br /> had failed to fulfill their aforesaid legal duties and in particular<br /> had failed to take reasonable steps to do so. The reasonable steps<br /> here contemplated are steps to be taken by the reasonable police<br /> persons in the execution of the onerous legal duties imposed by the<br /> Namibian Constitution and the Police Act, on the Namibian Police<br /> Force.</p><br /><p><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">The reasonable steps are those to be<br /> taken by members of a professional police force trained and equipped,<br /> mentally and materially, for their tasks. The Government cannot<br /> escape liability if it had failed to take reasonable steps for such<br /> training and equipment.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> negligent omission by the Namibian Police Force to perform their<br /> aforesaid legal duties was a direct cause of the theft of the<br /> property of the plaintiff and the failure to retrieve it.</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.4. As a direct<br /> consequence of the acts and omissions of the defendant, the plaintiff<br /> suffered damages in the amount of N$134 254.60.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.5. The aforesaid<br /> findings in my respectful view also accord with the legal convictions<br /> of the law-abiding citizens of Namibia.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">4. The judgment in this case is<br /> long overdue. The reason for this is that judge Pio Teek, JA, to<br /> whom the duty was allocated in April 2004 by the then acting Chief<br /> Justice Strydom to prepare the judgment of the Court, had failed to<br /> do so by the time that he was suspended by His Excellency, the<br /> President of Namibia on the recommendation of the Judicial<br /> Commission, pending the outcome of criminal charges against him and a<br /> final consideration and recommendation by the Judicial Commission in<br /> the light of such outcome.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In my respectful view, the<br /> remaining two members of the Supreme Court, namely Strydom A.C.J and<br /> myself, may hand down a valid and binding judgment in this appeal,<br /> provided we agree on the result.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In this regard I associate<br /> myself with the opinion of Strydom, A.C.J., in his judgment in <i>Wirtz<br /> v Orford</i>, handed down at the same time as my judgment in this<br /> appeal, concurred in by Strydom A.C.J.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">In the result the<br /> following order is made:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p>The appeal succeeds.</p><br /></li><li><p>The respondent is ordered to pay to the appellant:</p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">the<br /> sum of N$134 254;</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /></li></ol><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) interest thereon at the<br /> rate of 20% a <i>tempore morae </i>from date of judgment; and</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) Costs of suit in the Court<br /><i>a quo</i> and in this appeal.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">________________________</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">O’LINN,<br /> A.J.A</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I<br /> agree</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u> </u></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">STRYDOM,<br /> A.C.J.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><table width="600" border="0" cellpadding="7" cellspacing="0"><br /><col width="286" /><br /><col width="286" /><br /><tr valign="TOP"><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3">ON BEHALF OF THE<br /> APPELLANT:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">INSTRUCTED<br /> BY<b>:</b></font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><br /><br /></p><br /></td><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">MR.<br /> A.W. CORBETT</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">LORENTZ<br /> &amp; BONE</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><br /><br /></p><br /></td><br /></tr><br /><tr valign="TOP"><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3">ON BEHALF OF<br /> RESPONDENT:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">INSTRUCTED<br /> BY:</font></p><br /></td><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">MR.<br /> R.H. GOBA</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">GOVERNMENT<br /> ATTORNEY</font></p><br /></td><br /></tr><br /></table><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><div id="sdfootnote1"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote1sym" href="#sdfootnote1anc" id="sdfootnote1sym">1</a><br /> 1976 (2) 450 (N.P.D)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote2"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote2sym" href="#sdfootnote2anc" id="sdfootnote2sym">2</a><br /> 1975 (3) SA 590 (A)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote3"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote3sym" href="#sdfootnote3anc" id="sdfootnote3sym">3</a><br /> 2002 (6) SA 431 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote4"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote4sym" href="#sdfootnote4anc" id="sdfootnote4sym">4</a><br /><u>See also</u>: <u>Van Edden v Minister of Safety and Security</u>,<br /> 2003 (1) 389 SCA.</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Kruger<br /> v Coetzee</u>, 1966 (2) SA 428 (A) <u>Mukheiber v Raath</u>, 1999<br /> (3) SA 1065 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Carmichele<br /> v Minister of Safety and Security</u>, 2001(4) SA 938 CC.</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Van<br /> Eeden v Minister of Safety and Security</u>, 2003 (1) SA 389 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><br /></div> <div class="views-element-container"><div class="view view-eva view-download-conditional view-id-download_conditional view-display-id-entity_view_1 js-view-dom-id-6b7f1093b9865549491ff15a2c9ff35ed8ce8b5fe9855e3348d3c41c577dea4c"> <div><div class="views-field views-field-views-conditional-field"><span class="field-content"><p><br /><br /></p><br /><meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /><br /><title></title><br /><meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Linux)" /><br /><meta name="CREATED" content="20070223;17213800" /><br /><meta name="CHANGED" content="16010101;0" /><style type="text/css"> <!--/*--><![CDATA[/* ><!--*/ <!-- @page { size: 8.27in 11.69in; margin-right: 0.98in; margin-top: 0.59in; margin-bottom: 0.98in } @page:first { margin-top: 1.18in; margin-bottom: 0.98in } P { margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify } P.western { font-size: 13pt; so-language: en-GB } P.cjk { font-size: 13pt; so-language: en-US } P.ctl { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 13pt; so-language: ar-SA; font-weight: bold } A.sdfootnoteanc { font-size: 57% } --> /*--><!]]>*/ </style><p><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="RIGHT" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">CASE NO. SA 20/2003</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><b>IN THE<br /> SUPREME COURT OF NAMIBIA</b></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In the matter between:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%; page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>DRESSELHAUS<br /> TRANSPORT CC APPELLANT</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">and</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>THE GOVERNMENT OF THE<br /> REPUBLIC</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>OF NAMIBIA<br /> RESPONDENT</b></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b>CORAM:</b> Strydom, A.C.J.,<br /> O’Linn, A.J.A.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">HEARD ON: 2004/04/22</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">DELIVERED ON: 2005/05/11</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">_______________________________________________________________</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="CENTER" style="border-top: none; border-bottom: 1.00pt solid #000000; border-left: none; border-right: none; padding-top: 0in; padding-bottom: 0.01in; padding-left: 0in; padding-right: 0in; page-break-after: avoid" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u><b>APPEAL JUDGMENT</b></u></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><b><u>O’LINN, A.J.A.:</u></b> I<br /> have divided this judgment into the following sections:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION I</u>: INTRODUCTORY<br /> REMARKS</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION II</u>: THE MAIN<br /> ISSUES AS DEFINED IN THE PLEADINGS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION III</u>: THE SPECIFIC<br /> LEGAL DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE<br /> NAMIBIAN CONSTITUTION, THE POLICE ACT AND OTHER RELEVANT STATUTES.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION IV</u>: THE RELEVANT<br /> FACTS IN ADDITION TO THOSE IN SECTION I WHICH WILL BE REGARDED AS<br /> PROVED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS JUDGMENT, BECAUSE SUCH FACTS WERE<br /> EITHER COMMON CAUSE, OR NOT SERIOUSLY DISPUTED IN THE VIVA VOCE<br /> EVIDENCE IN THE COURT <i>A QUO</i> OR ARE JUSTIFIABLE INFERENCES<br /> DRAWN FROM SUCH FACTS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION V</u>: THE QUESTION<br /> WHETHER THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE AS AN INSTITUTION HAD A LEGAL DUTY<br /> TOWARDS THE PLAINTIFF AND THE DEFENCES AND EXCUSES PUT FORWARD FOR<br /> NOT FULFILLING THIS DUTY.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VI</u>: WAS THE<br /> STORMING AND LOOTING AND ENSUING LOSS FORSEEABLE AND PREVENTABLE.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VII</u>: THE<br /> ALLEGATION THAT SOME MEMBERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE THEMSELVES<br /> TOOK SOME CONTAINERS OF BEER FROM THE OVERTURNED VEHICLE OF THE<br /> PLAINTIFF.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION VIII</u>: THE LAW OF<br /> DELICT APPLICABLE IN THE CASE.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION IX</u>: CONCLUDING<br /> REMARKS.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION I</u>: <u>INTRODUCTORY<br /> REMARKS</u>.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">This is an appeal against a<br /> judgment of Levy AJ in the High Court of Namibia wherein that Court<br /> dismissed a claim by the appellant against the respondent for damages<br /> with costs arising from the looting by members of the public of a<br /> consignment of 3744 cases of beer belonging to South African<br /> Breweries and transported by the appellant after appellant’s<br /> vehicle had overturned on Monday the 21 August at approximately 05:00<br /> at a four-way crossing on a public road at the outskirts of Tsumeb<br /> when two tyres burst when the vehicle turned a corner.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Appellant Dresselhaus Transport<br /> CC was cited as the plaintiff in the Court <i>a quo</i> and the<br /> Government of the Republic of Namibia as the defendant.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Mr Corbett appeared for<br /> Dresselhaus Transport in the court <i>a quo</i> as well as before us<br /> and Mr Goba appeared for the Government.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I will hereinafter, for the sake<br /> of convenience continue to refer to the parties as in the court a<br /> quo. At the time the action was instituted, the plaintiff was<br /> registered in Namibia as a close corporation, <i>inter alia</i><br /> conducting the business of transporting goods. Plaintiff bore the<br /> risk for any loss sustained to the consignment and was insured<br /> against such loss by its insurer, Mutual and Federal Insurance<br /> Company. The latter Insurance Company in actual fact paid plaintiff<br /> for the loss in accordance with an agreement between insurer and<br /> insured pertaining thereto. The said insurer was thus entitled on<br /> the principle of subrogation to sue the third party, in this case the<br /> Government, in the name of the insured. The Court <i>a quo</i> found<br /> that insofar as plaintiff was liable as the carrier for the loss or<br /> damage of goods transported by it, it could claim damages for the<br /> loss from the party responsible for such loss.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The question of <i>locus standi</i><br /> was not raised in the course of the appeal and nothing more need be<br /> said about that issue in this judgment.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION II</u>: <u>THE MAIN<br /> ISSUES AS DEFINED IN THE PLEADINGS</u>:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The plaintiff’s case was set<br /> out in its particulars of claim as amended. No further particulars<br /> were requested on behalf of defendant and plaintiffs case thus<br /> remained as in its particulars of claim, except for a change in a<br /> minor respect during the trial relating to the damages, which was<br /> reduced from N$163 725.12 to N$134 254.60.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Plaintiff similarly did not ask<br /> for any further particulars to defendant’s plea and the pleaded<br /> defence consequently remained as in the plea as amended in the course<br /> of the trial. The basis of plaintiff’s cause of action against<br /> defendant was set out in the said particulars as follows:</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “5. Subsequent to this accident, members of the Police arrived and<br /> took charge of the accident scene. Members of the public also<br /> arrived on the scene and together with some members of the Namibian<br /> Police themselves, and in the presence of the Namibian Police<br /> wrongfully and unlawfully removed looted and/or stole the entire<br /> consignment of beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Plaintiff’s particulars further proceeded:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “6. Despite being under a legal duty to do so, the members of the<br /> Namibia Police present at the scene of the accident failed or<br /> neglected to prevent such members of the public and some members of<br /> the Namibia Police themselves from removing, looting and/or stealing<br /> the entire beer consignment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 7. The conduct of the members of the Namibian Police aforesaid<br /> constituted a breach of their legal duty to prevent and/or protect<br /> the beer consignment from being removed, looted and/or stolen by<br /> members of the public and members of the said police themselves.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 8. In and as a result of the said conduct of the members of the<br /> Namibian Police, the Plaintiff has suffered damages in the sum of<br /> N$163 725.12, being the value of the entire beer consignment. (This<br /> amount was reduced in the course of the trial to N$134 254.60 in the<br /> light of alleged expert testimony).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9. At all material times hereto, the said members of the Namibian<br /> Police were acting within the course and scope of their employment<br /> with the defendant….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">According to Mr Corbett, in argument before us, the<br /> allegation that some members of the Namibian Police also “<u>unlawfully<br /> removed, looted and/or stole the consignment of beer was not pursued<br /> in the light of the evidence at the trial</u>.” There however was<br /> no formal amendment of the pleading in this regard in the course of<br /> the trial in the Court <i>a quo</i> and it is not clear what Mr<br /> Corbett meant by his remark. Be that as it may. What was clearly<br /> not nullified by this statement was the evidence before Court that<br /> some members of the police did take possession of some cases of beer<br /> and placed it in a police vehicle at some stage. The circumstances<br /> of this taking will be discussed further including and in conjunction<br /> with the evidence that a member or members of the police standing at<br /> the back of the stricken vehicle gave the crowd to understand that<br /> the consignment was insured and that they could consequently take it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The defendant pleaded as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“5. <u>Ad<br /> paragraph 5</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The defendant admits that details of the Namibian Police attended the<br /> scene. The defendant further admits that members of the public also<br /> arrived on the scene. Defendant avers that the police took all<br /> necessary and reasonable steps to protect and secure the scene of the<br /> accident but were overwhelmed by the large group of persons who<br /> engaged in acts of public violence and looting at the scene. Save as<br /> aforesaid, the Defendant denies each and every allegation therein<br /> contained as if specifically traversed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="6"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Ad paragraph 6<br /> thereof</u></p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.1 The defendant admits that the members of the Namibian police had<br /> a duty to preserve the scene of the accident and to protect the motor<br /> vehicle and the goods but that such duty ceased and the police were<br /> relieved of such a duty when the plaintiff gave to its agent Rubicon<br /> Security power and authority to arrange for all security measures at<br /> the scene of the accident and when such written authority was<br /> furnished to the Namibian police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.2 The defendant specifically avers that it was plaintiff itself<br /> through Rubicon Security, its agent which prevented the police from<br /> guarding and protecting the motor vehicle and the goods and by<br /> further informing the police that Rubicon Security had been given<br /> sole responsibility to provide security for the motor vehicle and/or<br /> the property thereupon.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.3 In spite of this members of the Namibian police took all<br /> necessary and reasonable steps to protect the scene and property<br /> thereupon but were overwhelmed by the large crowd of members of the<br /> public which was present at the scene and which looted the<br /> consignment. Save as aforesaid defendant denies each and every<br /> allegation contained therein as if specifically traversed.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The various allegations in the plea are in conflict<br /> with each other and vague and embarrassing as a whole. A request for<br /> further particulars would have been appropriate and an exception to<br /> the plea would have had reasonable prospects of success. As<br /> plaintiff’s legal representatives had failed to take these steps,<br /> the Court <i>a quo</i> and this Court on appeal was faced with a<br /> confusing, inconsistent and vague and embarrassing defence<br /> throughout.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION III</u>: <u>THE LEGAL DUTIES AND POWERS OF<br /> ALL ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT AND OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE AS PROVIDED IN<br /> THE NAMIBIAN CONSTITUTION</u>, THE POLICE ACT AND <u>OTHER RELEVANT<br /> STATUTES</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">1. <u>The Constitution</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The following provision of the Namibian Constitution<br /> are directly relevant to this issue. Chapter 3 of the Namibian<br /> Constitution provides for the recognition of certain fundamental<br /> rights and freedoms, its protection and entrenchment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In <u>Article 16</u> it is provided:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“All persons shall have<br /> the right in any part of Namibia to <u>acquire, own and dispose of<br /> all forms of immovable and movable property individually or in<br /> association with others</u>….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Article 5 provides for the duty to protect the<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms. It reads:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“The<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be<br /> respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and<br /><u>all organs of Government and its agencies</u> and where applicable<br /> to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia <u>and shall be<br /> enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed</u>.”<br /> (My emphasis added).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is obvious that the Namibian Police Force as an<br /> institution, is an organ of Government and/or an agency of Government<br /> and thus has the constitutional duty to respect and uphold these<br /> fundamental rights, including the right to movable property, which<br /> would include the vehicles of plaintiff and the vehicle of the firm<br /> Family Choice and the consignment of 3744 cases of beer transported<br /> by the plaintiff.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is similarly obvious that the members of public<br /> who gathered at the scene of the accident, had a similar duty to<br /> respect and uphold such fundamental right. The Courts function and<br /> duty to respect and uphold includes the specific powers set out in<br /> sub-articles (3) and (4) of Article 25 as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court<br /> referred to in Sub-Article (2) hereof shall have the power to make<br /> all such orders as shall be necessary and appropriate to secure such<br /> applicant the enjoyment of rights and freedoms conferred on them<br /> under the provisions of this Constitution, should the Court came to<br /> the conclusion that such rights or freedoms have been unlawfully<br /> denied or violated, or that grounds exist for the protection of such<br /> rights or freedoms by interdict.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The<br /> power of the Court shall include the power to award monetary<br /> compensation in respect of any damage suffered by the aggrieved<br /> persons in consequence of such unlawful denial or violation of their<br /> fundamental rights and freedoms, where it considers such an award to<br /> be appropriate in the circumstances of particular cases.”</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Article 115 provides</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “There shall be established by Act of Parliament a Namibian Police<br /> Force with prescribed powers, duties and procedures in order to<br /> secure the <u>internal security of </u>Namibia and to <u>maintain</u><br /> law and order.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">2. <u>The Police Act 19 of 1990</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This Act has been enacted in compliance with Article<br /> 115 of the Namibian Constitution.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Section 13 of the Police Act provides:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The functions of the Force shall be –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(a) the preservation of the internal security of<br /> Namibia;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(b) the maintenance of law and order;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(c) the investigation of any offence or alleged<br /> offence;</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(d) the prevention of crime; and</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">(e) the protection of life and property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">3. One of the specific duties to be performed by<br /> traffic officers, who, by definition include a member of the Namibian<br /> Police Force, is laid down in Section 14(1)(g) and (h) of the said<br /> Road Traffic and Transport Act 22 of 1999 which provides:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (g) “In addition to any other powers, duties and functions as may<br /> be conferred or imposed on a traffic officer by or under this Act; a<br /> traffic officer may, subject to the provisions of this Act -regulate<br /> and control traffic on any public road, and give such directions as,<br /> in his or her opinion, may be necessary for <u>the safe and efficient<br /> regulation</u> of such traffic and, where he or she is of the opinion<br /> that a driver of a motor vehicle <u>is impeding the normal flow of<br /> traffic on a public road, direct the driver to remove the vehicle<br /> from such road or to follow a different route</u> with <u>the<br /> vehicle</u>. (My emphasis added)</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (h) require of any person whom such officer reasonably suspects of<br /> having committed an offence under this Act or of being able to give<br /> evidence in regard to the commission or suspected commission of such<br /> an offence, to furnish his or her name and address and give any other<br /> particulars which are required for his or her identification or for<br /> any process”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Namibian Police Force not only has the above<br /> legal duties, but the law provides adequate powers to enable the<br /> police to execute their functions and duties and provisions severely<br /> penalizing those who obstruct the police in the execution of their<br /> duties such as those e.g. provided for in Section 15 of the Police<br /> Amendment Act and Section 18(1) of the Road Traffic and Transport Act<br /> 22 of 1999.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION IV</u>:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>THE RELEVANT FACTS IN ADDITION TO THOSE IN SECTION<br /> I WHICH WILL BE REGARDED AS PROVED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS JUDGMENT,<br /> BECAUSE SUCH FACTS WERE EITHER COMMON CAUSE OR NOT SERIOUSLY DISPUTED<br /> IN THE <i>VIVA VOCE</i> EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COURT <i>A QUO</i></u>,<br /> OR JUSTIFIABLE INFERENCES DRAWN FROM SUCH FACTS.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">1. Plaintiff’s vehicle<br /> consisted of a mechanical horse and two trailers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 2. After the vehicle had overturned, it came to rest on its side in<br /> the middle island of the road facing in the direction of Ondangwa<br /> about 3 kilometres from the town of Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 3. The load of 3744 cases of beer was secured on the bed of the<br /> vehicle with plastic covers and straps. Although the vehicle fell on<br /> its side and lay with the wheels on one side on the ground and the<br /> wheels on the other side in the air, the aforesaid load remained<br /> secure and none of the containers of beer or its contents appeared to<br /> have been damaged by the fall.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 4. The driver of plaintiff’s vehicle, Mr Griffiths, had sustained<br /> some shock but no serious injuries.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 4.1 The said driver had no assistant driver or other assistants<br /> accompanying him before, during or in the course of he looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 5. The Namibian police at Tsumeb were informed of the accident by<br /> Griffiths and a police officer was stationed at the scene of the<br /> accident at about 06:00 to secure the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"> 5.1 Later during the<br /> morning more officers were deployed to the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6. Mr Weakly, the managing director and co-owner of plaintiff,<br /> requested Mr Oosthuizen, security manager of Rubicon, a security<br /> company at Tsumeb, to attend to the scene of accident and report<br /> back.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.1 After Oosthuizen had reported to him and told him inter alia that<br /> the Namibian police were on the scene and he had consulted with the<br /> insurers, he instructed Oosthuizen to return to the scene to look<br /> after the load as well as the vehicle. He also arranged with a<br /> company referred to as “Family Choice” to send an interlink truck<br /> with two trailers to the scene to load the consignment on their truck<br /> and take it to its destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 6.2 Oosthuizen, then proceeded to the scene with four (4) security<br /> guards from his firm armed with “stoppers”, i.e shotguns which<br /> are designed to fire rubber bullets and teargas. The stoppers were<br /> loaded with rubber bullets but not teargas. Upon Oosthuizen’s<br /> arrival he deployed his guards strategically around the fallen truck<br /> while some police stood by. The police at that stage numbered about<br /> eight police officers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 7. Meanwhile, a crowd was gathering at the scene with people arriving<br /> as from approximately 08:00 on foot, in pick-ups and cars, apparently<br /> mostly from the Nombsoub residential area in Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Initially the crowd<br /> was peaceful.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">However, Oosthuizen<br /> observed that later in the morning the mood of the crowd became<br /> aggressive. By the time Inspector Munalisa of the Field Force<br /> arrived at the scene, Oosthuizen informed him that the crowd had<br /> indicated that “they had come to take the beer” and that there<br /> were certain instigators who were shouting.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(Unfortunately<br /> when Oosthuizen was testifying about what was said by and in the<br /> crowd, the Court ruled that it could not allow such evidence because<br /> it was hearsay. This was clearly a misdirection because Oosthuizen<br /> was testifying about the aggressive mood and criminal intention of<br /> some members of the crowd and the nature of the incitement).</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Inspector Munalisa<br /> talked to the crowd and some of them even told him that they had<br /> come to take the load. When he asked them to move back, they<br /> refused and even booed him and laughed at him.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Munalisa then called<br /> on his cellphone and/or walkie talkie for reinforcements from the<br /> Tsumeb Police Station.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="5"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon, first testified that when Munalisa talked to him he said<br /> that the situation was under control, but later admitted that the<br /> crowd was of concern to Munalisa and that it was Munalisa’s<br /> opinion “that the crowd can storm the overturned truck to get the<br /> beer”.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="6"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">When Munalisa<br /> returned to the police station he also told Warrant Officer Jason,<br /> the second in command at the police station, that the number of<br /> cars and people were increasing at the scene and that the number of<br /> police she had previously sent, was insufficient. She reported<br /> what Munalisa had told her to Chief Inspector Simeon and arranged<br /> for all available off duty officers to report for duty and to go to<br /> the scene. She left for the scene together with Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon and about 10 Field Force members.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="7"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon and his men mostly unarmed, but some may have been armed<br /> with pistols.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="7"><br /><ol start="8"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">There were batons,<br /> teargas and the equipment to use it, such as firearms that could<br /> fire teargas, live bullets and rubber bullets available at the<br /> Tsumeb Police Station, but were not taken to the scene.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 8. At all relevant times the police at the scene and personnel at the<br /> police station could easily communicate by cellphone or walkie-talkie<br /> and police personnel and other persons could move to and from the<br /> police station within a very short time.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9. Although the total manpower of the <u>regular</u> blue-uniformed<br /> police at Tsumeb did not exceed 30, the strength of the Special Field<br /> Force stationed in the Tsumeb area was not disclosed in the evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9.1 It is a notorius fact that if additional manpower of regular<br /> police and Field Force was required for an operation at Tsumeb<br /> subsequent to the actual looting, those could at short notice have<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">been<br /> drawn from northern towns such as Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Outjo,<br /> Otavi and Ondangwa. Defence Force units were obviously also<br /> available in this northern area if the immediately available manpower<br /> at Tsumeb could not control a public violence situation.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 9.2 At about 10:00 there were about 25 police persons at the scene<br /> but by then the crowd had grown to approximately 800.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">10 At 09:58am on the 21<sup>st</sup> Anton M</span>ü<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">ller,<br /> the transport manager of plaintiff sent a fax to Rubicon Security<br /> with the following “security instruction: “You are hereby given<br /> instructions <u>to arrange</u> for all security measures at the scene<br /> of accident near Tsumeb where a truck of the abovementioned company<br /> is involved.”</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">10.1 According<br /> to Mr Weakly, the managing director of plaintiff, the fax was sent by<br /> his transport manager M</span>ü<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">ller in<br /> accordance with the policy to give written instructions to enable the<br /> recipient to later claim payment for its services.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">According<br /> to Weakly, the intent was to help with the security at the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.2 After receipt of the faxed instruction by Oosthuizen, he showed<br /> the fax to some of the police officers on the scene, notably Chief<br /> Inspector Simeon, to explain Rubicon’s presence and function on the<br /> scene. He also informed Simeon that arrangements have been made for<br /> another truck to come and collect the load and to transport it to its<br /> correct destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.3 There is a dispute between the parties as to the exact content<br /> of that explanation. Some of the police persons alleged that<br /> Oosthuizen told them that Rubicon will take charge of all the<br /> security and the police must “move over”, and leave the securing<br /> and protecting of the vehicle and load exclusively to Rubicon<br /> security.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The allegations made by police witnesses were vehemently denied<br /> throughout by Oosthuizen.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 10.4 It is not clear from the pleadings and the viva voce evidence<br /> whether the police left the scene of accident at any stage and if<br /> they did so, why they left and when they left.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> According to defence counsel Goba, the police did withdraw from the<br /> immediate scene of accident at some stage and from then on – only<br /> controlled traffic.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 11. The truck from the firm Family Choice arrived after 10:00, and<br /> before 11:00, but the precise time was not established.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> This vehicle was also equipped with a mechanical forklift to<br /> facilitate the transporting of the load from the overturned truck to<br /> the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12. The driver of the Family Choice truck slowly moved to a position<br /> alongside the stricken truck whilst members of Rubicon moved in front<br /> and asked members of the crowd to stand back to enable the truck to<br /> accomplish its task of loading the load from the overturned truck<br /> onto the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> The people from the crowd standing in the path of the oncoming truck<br /> actually gave way. It could be that this was done because those<br /> people were scared of being injured. The truck managed to park<br /> alongside plaintiff’s overturned truck without bumping against any<br /> pedestrian or injuring any person or damaging any vehicle or other<br /> property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.1 Once the Family Choice truck was in position and was on the<br /> verge of beginning with the operation of loading from the overturned<br /> truck onto the Family Choice truck, a person in the crowd jumped onto<br /> the Family Choice truck armed with a knife and slashed open the<br /> canvas and cut the straps holding the load secure, laying bare the<br /> load and ready for grabbing.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> Persons in the crowd shouted and some hurled stones at the trucks<br /> and the members of the Rubicon Security and those attempting to<br /> protect the vehicles and the load. In the course thereof one of the<br /> stones hit Mr Lindholm, an employee of Family Choice, who was trying<br /> to protect the cab of the Family Choice truck. Lindholm was hit at<br /> the back of his head.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> It caused an open wound and blood flowing from the wound onto his<br /> back. He however did not withdraw. Warrant Officer Jason was also<br /> bumped and pushed to the ground by the crowd storming the trucks but<br /> was uninjured. No other person from Rubicon Security or the police<br /> were injured.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> Members of the crowd swarmed onto the vehicles, grabbed the cartons<br /> of beer and each carried away as much as he or she could handle.<br /> Some loaded their spoils on to vehicles, some onto bicycles and some<br /> took as much as they could carry. Some vehicles returned to the<br /> scene more than once to reload.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.2 Initially members of Rubicon Security fired warning shots above<br /> the crowd and even rubber bullets at the crowd. It is uncertain<br /> whether or not any of the police had any firearms and had fired any<br /> warning shots. The two Rubicon dogs and the warning shots did not<br /> deter the mob.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 12.3 When the stones were hurled and the safety of members of Rubicon<br /> and the police were endangered, the members of Rubicon withdrew from<br /> their positions around the trucks to positions in the vicinity. It<br /> is unclear if the police withdrew and if so, when and why.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">13. It took about </span>¾<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> of an hour for the mob to complete the looting, the removal from the<br /> scene of accident of the whole of the consignment of beer of 3744<br /> cases of beer valued after the accident at N$134 254.60.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 14. It follows from the above facts, that the inciters and<br /> perpetrators and participants in the action committed the very<br /> serious crime of Public Violence, with Robbery, Theft and the<br /> disturbance and violation of the public peace and order as elements.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Public<br /> Violence is defined by the learned author Milton in South African<br /> Criminal Law and Procedure as the unlawful and intentional commission<br /> by a number of people acting in concert of acts of sufficiently<br /> serious dimensions which are intended violently to disturb the public<br /> peace or security or to invade the rights of others”. Under the<br /> new Namibian Criminal Procedure Act 25 of 2004, the crime of robbery<br /> in itself is so serious, that a sentence of life imprisonment without<br /> parole or probation or remission of sentence can be imposed on a<br /> person convicted of such crime in terms of Section 309 of that Act.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 14.1 Members of the mob also contravened the following statutory<br /> provisions and thus committed the following further serious criminal<br /> offences:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (i) Section 83(1) of Road Traffic and Transport Act 1999:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“<u>No<br /> person shall without consent of the owner or operator of a vehicle or<br /> any other person lawfully in charge thereof, or without reasonable<br /> cause</u> –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (c) in <u>any way tamper with the machinery, accessories, or any part<br /> of such vehicle</u><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(d) <u>enter<br /> or get onto such vehicle</u>……….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Section83(3):</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> No person shall –<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (a) without lawful excuse tamper with any vehicle or any of its<br /> equipment or accessories,</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (b) wilfully damage any vehicle or any of its equipment or<br /> accessories, or<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">(c) throw<br /> any object at any vehicle…….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Section 106(2) provides<br /> that any person convicted of an offence of contravening the above<br /> sections, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N$20.000 or to<br /> imprisonment for a period not exceeding five (5) years or to both<br /> such fine or imprisonment.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Insofar as the police<br /> claim that Chief Inspector Munalisa did order the crowd to stand back<br /> and they refused, Section 18(1) of the Road Traffic and Transport Act<br /> 22 of 1999 was contravened as well as Section 15 of the Police<br /> Amendment Act 3 of 1999 providing for a punishment of a fine not<br /> exceeding N$20 000 or for a period of imprisonment of 5 years or to<br /> both such fine and imprisonment for –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“Any person who –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(a) resists<br /> or wilfully hinders or obstructs a member in the execution of his or<br /> her duty or functions, or a person assisting a member in the<br /> execution of his or her duty or functions…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 15.1 The police did not perform the specific function as laid down<br /> and/or implied by Section 14(1)(g) and (h) the Road Traffic and<br /> Transport Act to timeously prevent an unduly large congregation of<br /> people and vehicles/at the scene of accident. In particular they did<br /> not:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Cordon off the area of<br /> the accident with barrier strips.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">Direct the drivers not<br /> to stop at the scene and to follow a different route with their<br /> vehicles.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 15.2. During the period of actual looting at the scene, the crowd<br /> became progressively smaller as some of those who had taken or carted<br /> away what they can, left the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (i) For those on foot, it would have taken some time to carry their<br /> spoils back to Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (ii) The persons who were part of the mob at the scene of accident,<br /> were vulnerable to roadblocks on their way back to Tsumeb, no longer<br /> being a mob and having the intimidating force of a violent mob. It<br /> follows that it was now easier for the police to stop, search or at<br /> least take down their names and addresses or arrest them and retrieve<br /> the stolen goods or some of it and prosecute the criminals.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (iii) If that was too difficult, the culprits could have been traced<br /> and arrested and the stolen goods retrieved during raids later that<br /> afternoon or that night or even during the following days and nights.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> (iv) When some of the culprits sold cases of beer the next day in the<br /> streets of Tsumeb, action could have been taken against them but no<br /> action was taken.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16. During the period of 45 minutes that the looting at the scene was<br /> in process, Oosthuizen was able and did take down the numbers of<br /> vehicles into which the stolen goods were loaded.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.1 He reported to a police officer on the scene that a police<br /> sergeant had taken some cartons of beer from the plaintiff’s<br /> vehicle and placed it in the police vehicle which he pointed out and<br /> the registration number of which, was included in his list of<br /> registration numbers.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.2 The list of registration numbers aforesaid was later in the week<br /> handed to officers of the Tsumeb Police for their attention and<br /> further investigations.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 16.3 Although a police witness testified that a police sergeant was<br /> also instructed to take down the number of the motor vehicles on to<br /> which the beer was loaded and carted away, no such list was made<br /> available to the Court.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.1 According to police witnesses, although they could hear some<br /> people inciting the crowd, they could not identify anyone and<br /> consequently could not arrest any of the instigators and ringleaders.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.2 There was no explanation why the person who jumped on the<br /> vehicle with a knife and cut the canvas and straps and was thus an<br /> obvious ringleader, was not identified and not acted against in any<br /> manner at any stage.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.3 The police also made no attempt at any stage to obtain the names<br /> and addresses of some of the ringleaders or any other participants,<br /> although some police witnesses testified that some people in the<br /> crowd were known to them.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.4 Apart from Chief Inspector Munalisa’s rebuffed effort to ask<br /> the crowd to at one stage to move backwards, after which he returned<br /> to the police station, no other identifiable step was taken to deter<br /> the mob during the actual looting at the scene. In particular:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The police did not use<br /> loud hailers to warn the mob not to persist. They did not use<br /> batons, rubber bullets or teargas to deter and/or disperse the crowd<br /> and/or to enable them to arrest and charge the culprits.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">The police at the<br /> scene were not even appropriately equipped and armed at the scene to<br /> use teargas and/or rubber bullets and/or batons to deter intended<br /> wrongdoers from committing serious crimes although such equipment<br /> was available at the police station within easy reach and there were<br /> sufficient early warning that the crowd was growing and increasingly<br /> aggressive and clearly indicated that they intended to take the<br /> consignment of beer for themselves.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.5 No roadblocks were set up to intercept those looters on their<br /> way back to Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.6 No raids were launched in the hours, days and nights following<br /> to identify, take the names and addresses and/or arrest and prosecute<br /> the culprits and to retrieve any of the stolen goods.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.7 It was alleged by witnesses for the Government and Mr Goba,<br /> counsel for defendant, that a police docket was opened pursuant to a<br /> report by Mr Oosthuizen, but no prosecution was ever instituted since<br /> the date that the crimes were committed. No reason was given why<br /> not.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 17.8 No effort was made by the police to retrieve any of the stolen<br /> goods from the thieves and none were recovered except the few cases<br /> in<i> </i>possession of the police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 18. It is probable that there was no proper command and leadership<br /> amongst the police at the scene and that this was one of the causes<br /> of the police failure to take appropriate action. The most senior<br /> person at the scene of accident was Chief Inspector Simeon of the<br /> section of the police known as the Special Field Force (SFF) and who<br /> are according to Mr Goba, “mainly responsible for policing<br /> borders”. Chief Inspector Simeon was reluctant to admit that he<br /> was the officer in charge at the time of the looting. He also<br /> admitted that he had no training in crowd control and it remained<br /> uncertain on his evidence whether he had any experience of<br /> controlling mob and mob violence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">19. The<br /> Namibian Police had failed -</p><br /><ol start="19"><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to maintain law and order;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to investigate the serious crime of Public<br /> Violence, Robbery and Theft;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to prevent crime;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to protect property of the plaintiff;</p><br /></li><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">to respect and protect the fundamental rights<br /> of the plaintiff.</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION V</u>: THE QUESTION WHETHER THE NAMIBIAN<br /> POLICE AS AN INSTITUTION HAD A LEGAL DUTY <u>TOWARDS THE PLAINTIFF<br /> AND THE DEFENCES AND EXCUSES PUT FORWARD FOR NOT FULFILLING THIS<br /> DUTY</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In the light of the legal duties provided for in<br /> the Namibian Constitution and the Police Act set out in <u>SECTION<br /> III <i>supra</i></u>, it is obvious that the plaintiff is also a<br /> beneficiary of those legal duties, i.e. the plaintiff was also<br /> entitled to the benefit of the execution of all those duties and<br /> responsibilities placed on the Namibian Police as an institution and<br /> organ of Government and the State. The duties and responsibilities<br /> were not restricted and/or delegated to those policemen present at a<br /> particular scene of accident or scene of crime, but remained the<br /> responsibility of the Namibian Police Force as an institution and<br /> organ of Government and the State.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It follows from the above that the aforesaid<br /> duties and responsibilities could not be delegated to private<br /> persons and institutions and that the Police Force cannot absolve<br /> itself from exercising those functions, duties and responsibilities.<br /> It follows further that no private person or institution can<br /> legally instruct and/or order the said Police Force or any number of<br /> police persons not to exercise the aforesaid functions and not to<br /> fulfil the duties and responsibilities provided for by the aforesaid<br /> laws. As a matter of fact, any attempt by such private person or<br /> institution to do so, will amount to the offence of obstructing the<br /> Police Force in the execution of its functions and duties.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It follows that the defendant’s plea that<br /> although the Police Force initially had a legal duty “to preserve<br /> the scene and to protect the motor vehicle and goods, but that such<br /> duty ceased and the police were relieved of such a duty when the<br /> plaintiff gave to its agent Rubicon Security power and authority to<br /> arrange for all security measures at the scene of the accident and<br /> when such written authority was furnished to the Namibian Police,”<br /> such plea was from the outset fatally flawed and could not<br /> constitute a proper and legal defence, even if the factual<br /> allegations therein were assumed to be correct for the purposes of<br /> argument.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">The patent absurdity of<br /> this plea is obvious when one keeps in mind that property cannot be<br /> secured and protected, if the internal security of Namibia is not<br /> preserved; if law and order is not maintained; crimes and offences<br /> such as those pertaining to the property in the instant case are not<br /> prevented and/or investigated and the perpetrators not arrested and<br /> prosecuted and the stolen goods not retrieved.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It seems that both the<br /> defendant and its counsel, failed throughout to distinguish the case<br /> of private and contractual security arrangements for the protection<br /> of private property from the case where the police duties are laid<br /> down by the Constitution and statute law.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It is also obvious that<br /> the function and duty to protect property, includes the function and<br /> duty to recover and retrieve stolen property, particularly those<br /> stolen and robbed in the police presence in circumstances amounting<br /> to rioting, mob violence and public violence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB">It is shocking that once<br /> the thieves had removed their loot from the scene of accident, the<br /> Namibian Police washed their hands of the crime and allowed the<br /> thieves and robbers to enjoy their spoils undeterred, unpunished and<br /> in peace.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="4"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The defendant’s further <u>initial</u> plea<br /> that it was plaintiff itself, through Rubicon Security its agent,<br /> which <u>attempted</u> to prevent the police from guarding and<br /> protecting the motor vehicle and the goods any further by informing<br /> the police that Rubicon Security had been given sole responsibility<br /> to provide security for the motor vehicle and/or the property<br /> thereupon, was similarly fatally flawed, even if the factual<br /> allegations of such attempt were regarded as correct for the purpose<br /> of the argument.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.25in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="5"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">When defendant amended its plea during the trial<br /> to allege that plaintiff through Rubicon not merely <u>attempted</u><br /> to prevent the police from carrying out its aforesaid functions/and<br /> duties, but actually <u>prevented</u> the police from doing so, it<br /> made the bad original plea even worse and even less credible.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">5.1 The<br /> further allegation in paragraph 6.3 of the plea adds further<br /> ambiguity to the already inconsistent and ambiguous plea by stating:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“In<br /> spite of this, members of Namibian police took all necessary and<br /> reasonable steps to protect the scene and property and to assist<br /> Rubicon Security but were overwhelmed by the large crowd of people<br /> which was present at the scene and which looted the consignment…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> allegation that <u>Plaintiff</u>, through <u>Rubicon Security<br /> prevented</u> the police from guarding and protecting the motor<br /> vehicle and its load is in conflict with the allegation that the<br /> police nevertheless took all necessary and reasonable steps to assist<br /> Rubicon Security but were overwhelmed by the large crowd. The<br /> questions arise –</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">if the police were <u>prevented</u> by <u>plaintiff<br /> and its agent</u>, how could they still take all the necessary and<br /> reasonable steps to protect the scene and property.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol type="i" start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">If plaintiff <u>prevented</u> the police and was<br /> thus the cause, how could it be alleged in the same breath that the<br /> police were <u>overwhelmed</u> by the large crowd, and that was then<br /> the cause of the police being unable to fulfil their functions and<br /> duties to protect the scene and property.</p><br /></li></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">5.2 The<br /> only mitigating factor in this absurd pleading and the attempt to<br /> justify it at the trial, was that Mr Goba conceded in his argument on<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">appeal that “the duty<br /> was however revived when the crowd stormed the truck and engaged in<br /> stealing from it in the presence of the police.” This concession<br /> was in line with the Court a quo’s finding on this point.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> question then arises: What steps were taken by the police after<br /> their duty revived?</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> Mr<br /> Goba in his cross-examination of Oosthuizen put the “withdrawal”<br /> as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “At the stage when you showed the police officers the fax and they<br /> made this decision to withdraw their officers to control traffic only<br /> and leave you and your company to secure the truck and its load, the<br /> crowd at that stage had not stormed the truck.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> The<br /> evidence of Warrant Officer Jason was that when she was bowled over<br /> by the rushing crowd, she was instructed by Chief Inspector Simeon to<br /> go to the approaches to the scene with some other traffic officers<br /> and control traffic.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> As<br /> Mr Corbett pointed out, Warrant Officer Jason and her colleagues were<br /> now positioned with their backs towards the vehicles where the<br /> looting was in progress and the adage of “hear no evil”, “see<br /> no evil” and “speak no evil” was now applicable.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i><br /> held that the duty of the Police to protect the overturned vehicle<br /> and the consignment was revived when the actual looting began.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in" xml:lang="en-GB">If it is correct as<br /> alleged by Police witnesses that the Police withdrew when Rubicon<br /> allegedly took over the protection of the vehicle and consignment,<br /> then the Police duty to protect such vehicle and consignment revived<br /> as found by the Court <i>a quo</i>, when the looting began. The<br /> defence that the Police took all reasonable and necessary steps must<br /> also fail, if it is assumed, as alleged by them, that they withdrew<br /> even before the actual looting began.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.75in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">6. The<br /> defendant, its witnesses and its counsel were unable throughout the<br /> evidence and in argument to specify the so-called necessary and<br /> reasonable steps they had taken. I have set out in SECTION (IV) the<br /> steps they should have taken and had failed to take and there is no<br /> need to repeat it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">7. It is clear from defendant's plea that defendant<br /> and its counsel, as well as the<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Court <i>a quo</i> in its<br /> judgment, failed to appreciate the fact that the duty and function of<br /> the police did not begin and end with the phase when the crowd rushed<br /> towards the vehicles and allegedly overwhelmed the police, but<br /> extended over the following related but distinct phases:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase I</u>: The period<br /> beginning with the taking of control of the scene of accident until<br /> the beginning of the looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase II</u>: The<br /> period of about 45 minutes from the beginning of the looting at the<br /> scene until the looting at the scene was complete.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase III</u>: The<br /> period during which the stolen goods were actually removed from the<br /> scene and taken to the Tsumeb town and residential area and in some<br /> cases, to other Namibian destinations.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>Phase IV</u>: The<br /> period following upon such actual removals from the scene of accident<br /> which continued for an indefinite period, within which the crime of<br /> theft continued by virtue of the legal principle that “theft is a<br /> continuing crime” – and a period within which the criminals who<br /> had committed the grave crimes of Public Violence, Robbery and Theft,<br /> had to be traced and prosecuted and efforts made to recover all, or<br /> at least some of the stolen property of the plaintiff. Although an<br /> effort was made to excuse the failure to take any effective steps at<br /> the time of the actual storming and alleged overwhelming by the mob,<br /> no real effort was made to explain and excuse the failure to take<br /> reasonable steps during the preceding period or phase to prevent such<br /> a situation developing and for not taking any reasonable steps in the<br /> ensuing period or phases.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8. The<br /> case for the defence was one of absurd and pathetic excuses and an<br /> attempt to place the blame on Rubicon Security, alternatively on<br /> unforeseen mob action which overwhelmed them.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">How and why the police<br /> allowed 80-100 cars to come and go at the scene of accident and to<br /> stop and park within meters from the overturned vehicles, and how and<br /> why they allowed up to a 800 people to also congregate in the<br /> immediate vicinity, was not and could not be explained.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.1 Mr<br /> Goba’s argument that the people of Namibia have the fundamental<br /> right of freedom of movement after Namibian independence and that<br /> this had to be respected by the police, adds insult to injury and is<br /> an absurdity not expected to be put forward in the highest Court in<br /> Namibia by a representative of a noble and respected profession and<br /> of the Government of Namibia.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">This is obvious because<br /> the fundamental freedom to “move freely throughout Namibia”<br /> provided for in Article 21(1)(9) of the Namibian Constitution, is<br /> subject to subarticle 21(2) and further obviously subject to the<br /> fundamental rights of others and the functions and duties of the<br /> police contained in the Police Act and specific provisions of the law<br /> herein referred to ensure safety at a scene of accident.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba even suggested<br /> that the police was faced with the dilemma of choosing between<br /> protecting beer and property and protecting the freedom of the people<br /> and their right not to be killed or injured. Again the obvious<br /> answer is that when the “people” disturb the public order and<br /> commit heinous crimes such as theft on a massive scale, robbery, and<br /> public violence, strong action becomes necessary to protect the<br /> innocent against their deeds and to prevent the State and society<br /> from sinking into a state of disorder, insecurity and criminality<br /> where the criminal reigns.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">8.2 It<br /> remained unclear on the police evidence whether or not any of them<br /> were at least armed with side arms (revolvers and pistols) at the<br /> scene of accident. But at any event, on the assumption that they<br /> had, it was said by Warrant Officer Jason that those in charge could<br /> not order or allow these police colleagues who had side - arms to<br /> fire even warning shots <u>above the heads of the mob</u>, because<br /> “we were afraid that our colleagues <u>may not be able to use live<br /> bullets properly and they may have injured people at the scene</u>…”.</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> If<br /> the police used force to deter the mob and prevent the serious<br /> crimes, they would have been protected from liability for damages for<br /> injuries to persons by well-known legal principles as set out in the<br /> decision in <i>Chetty v Minister of Police</i></span><sup><i><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote1anc" href="#sdfootnote1sym" id="sdfootnote1anc"><sup>1</sup></a></span></i></sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><i>.<br /></i>In that decision it was held that:</span></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 1. There must have been reasonable grounds for thinking that because<br /> of the crowd’s behaviour there was such a danger, (commenced or<br /> imminent) of injury to persons or damage to or destruction or loss of<br /> property as to require police action.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><i> </i>Whether or not such a situation existed must be considered<br /> objectively, the question being whether a reasonable man in the<br /> position of the police would have believed that there was such a<br /> danger.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> 2. The means used in an endeavour to restore order and avert such<br /> danger, and resulting in one or more members of the crowd being<br /> injured, were not excessive having regard to all the circumstances,<br /> such as the nature and extent of the danger, the likelihood of<br /> serious injury to persons, the value of the property threatened, etc<i>.</i></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.3 Police<br /> witnesses stated that they wished to arrest the agitators in the<br /> crowd, but they could not identify them. But when an obvious<br /> ringleader jumped on the Family Choice vehicle and the overturned<br /> vehicle of plaintiff and slashed open the canvas and cut the straps<br /> securing the load with a knife, the police on the scene must have<br /> been able – if they were around and not asleep – to identify at<br /> least this criminal – to attempt to deter him, and/or attempt to<br /> arrest him at the time. But the dereliction of duty becomes even<br /> more pronounced when one considers that in the days and years that<br /> followed, the police failed to take any steps to bring this<br /> particular criminal to justice for the heinous crimes committed by<br /> him. This failure supports the inference that some members of the<br /> police present at the scene tacitly approved of the looting.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.4 Oosthuizen<br /> gave the police a list of the numbers of vehicles that transported<br /> stolen goods from the scene. They raised no excuse for not<br /> immediately acting on this information. But then Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon testified that he had given a police sergeant instruction at<br /> the scene itself to take down the numbers of vehicles carrying the<br /> loot. Mr Goba explained that the purpose of this instruction was<br /> that “some of the thieves were from the Tsumeb community and could<br /> be followed up later during further investigations.” Mr Goba also<br /> stated that the police “observed and noted the features of the<br /> perpetrators for a future investigation”. Now if this is so, the<br /> police was in a position to act immediately after the crowd had<br /> dispersed, against the owners of the said vehicles and to attempt to<br /> recover the loot. But no action was ever taken and there was no<br /> explanation for it.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.5 When<br /> a police officer was asked why no arrest was made at the scene of<br /> accident, he replied that he did not want to risk injury to the<br /> police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">This notwithstanding that<br /> the Police Force as a professional force has certain very onerous<br /> duties of protecting members of the society and inherent in such a<br /> profession is that certain risks must be taken when duty calls. In<br /> this case the police did not even <u>attempt</u> to make one arrest.<br /> If they did and individuals in the mob obstructed them and assaulted<br /> them, the police may have had a little more credibility for their<br /> excuses put forward for not taking elementary, reasonable and<br /> available steps.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.6. The<br /> excuse by the defendant relied on to prove that the police have been<br /> prevented from doing their duty – is a socalled written authority<br /> by officials of plaintiff to Rubicon Security contained in a faxed<br /> message and also furnished to the Namibian Police, which read as<br /> follows,</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"> “You<br /> are hereby given instructions to <u>arrange</u> for all security<br /> measures at the scene of accident near Tsumeb where a truck of the<br /> abovementioned company is involved”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) In<br /> my view the words – “to arrange for all security measures at the<br /> scene of accident”, is a far cry from the allegation in paragraph<br /> 6.2 of the plea that: “It was plaintiff through Rubicon Security<br /> its agent which prevented the police from guarding and protecting the<br /> motor vehicle and the goods any further by ‘informing the police<br /> that Rubicon Security <u>had been given sole responsibility to<br /> provide security for the motor vehicle and or property thereupon</u>”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The words “to arrange for<br /> all security measures” could mean and include: to report the<br /> accident to the police; to inform them of any issue and circumstance<br /> that they should know; to request the police to assist; to inform the<br /> police that they will be on the scene to represent the plaintiff;<br /> help the police to protect and secure the vehicles and load; arrange<br /> for the load to be reloaded from the stricken truck onto a truck from<br /> the firm “Family Choice” to be then taken by the “Family<br /> Choice” truck to its intended destination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(ii) To<br /> supplement the shortcoming in the fax, for its defence, the defendant<br /> and its counsel attempted in the evidence to take the allegation much<br /> further by alleging that when Oosthuizen of Rubicon explained the fax<br /> and their presence to Chief Inspector Simeon and Warrant Officer<br /> Jason, he said that “Rubicon had been given <u>sole responsibility</u><br /> for the truck and its consignment by the plaintiff; that he had<br /> arranged another truck to come and collect the goods and cart them<br /> away and that the “<u>police should move over’</u>”, i.e remove<br /> themselves to make place for the Rubicon personnel.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The defence witness Warrant<br /> Officer Jason even testified that Oosthuizen said: “There is no<br /> need for your police presence. <u>Could you please take your people<br /> back because the responsibility is on my shoulders</u>”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(iii) When<br /> Simeon was cross-examined and asked whether Oosthuizen had said<br /> anything about the role of the police at the scene, Simeon answered<br /> in the negative but later again changed his evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(iv) Oosthuizen,<br /> an experienced former policeman, vehemently denied the allegations<br /> that he had told the police that he had sole responsibility and that<br /> they must please leave. He said that he had explained to the police<br /> that Rubicon Security was there to represent Dresselhaus Transport to<br /> make the necessary security arrangements and to assist the police, to<br /> arrange for the arrival of the “Family Choice” truck and ensure<br /> that the consignment of beer is transferred from the overturned truck<br /> to the Family Choice truck.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">He said that his security<br /> firm Rubicon Security had on previous occasions cooperated with the<br /> police and that he and the firm had a good relationship with the<br /> police. He referred to a previous incident in 1995 when he and his<br /> firm cooperated with the police at a riot when a crowd was<br /> successfully dispersed by <i>inter alia</i> using teargas at the<br /> premises of the Tsumeb Corporation Mine at Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in" xml:lang="en-GB">The police allegation and<br /> that of Mr Goba appear to be grossly exaggerated and improbable. Why<br /> would Oosthuizen with a few men and a great responsibility have the<br /> audacity and stupidity to tell the police with all its available<br /> manpower, facilities and resources and functions and duties provided<br /> for by the Constitution, Police Act and other statutes, to “<u>move</u><br /> over”, “<u>remove themselves</u> from the scene” “<u>leave<br /> all</u> the security to his firm” etc, when he had told Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa when Munalisa arrived on the scene, that the crowd<br /> was “aggressive” and has indicated that “they intend to take<br /> the beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(v) The<br /> Court <i>a quo</i> did not make a credibility finding on this or any<br /> other issue except for its commentary that:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“In<br /> the witness box he gave the impression that he was resentful of the<br /> police and not objective.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">No reference was made in the judgment to incidents<br /> and parts of the evidence to support this observation. However, if<br /> Oosthuizen was resentful, that would only have been the natural<br /> reaction of any reasonable person in the circumstances and should not<br /> affect his credibility. In my respectful view, the Court a quo also<br /> misdirected itself in this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.6 T<u>he<br /> excuse that the family choice truck drove straight at the crowd and<br /> this angered the crowd and caused the eruption</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This defence which was not raised by defendant in its<br /> plea but raised by Mr Goba in his cross-examination and argument,<br /> appears to be an act of desperation. The “Family Choice” truck<br /> successfully moved into position alongside the overturned truck to<br /> transfer the load from the overturned truck to the said Family Choice<br /> truck. This manoevre was carried out without injuring any member of<br /> the crowd.<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The driver of the truck was merely executing his<br /> contractual duty and did not interfere with any right of members of<br /> the crowd. The alleged driving “straight at the crowd” was an<br /> exaggeration by Mr Goba and no excuse for the mob’s behaviour.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Yes, members of the crowd may have been angry but<br /> why? Is it not obvious that in view of their criminal intention to<br /> loot the consignment of beer, they now realised if they don’t go<br /> over to drastic action to do so, the opportunity would be lost<br /> because of the imminent removal of the potential loot from the scene<br /> of accident to a safer haven. They then used the opportunity given<br /> by the scoundrel who cut the canvas and straps securing the load.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">8.7 <u>The<br /> excuses for not using teargas</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) The<br /> facts and circumstances set out in this judgment of the progressive<br /> development of a congregation of many motor vehicles and a large<br /> crowd at a scene of accident on a public road and this crowd becoming<br /> gradually unruly, aggressive and clearly indicating an intention to<br /> loot property valued at N$160 000.00 which was secured on an<br /> overturned truck, notwithstanding the presence of the police and<br /> personnel of a security firm, justified in my respectful view the use<br /> of teargas. It was unreasonable not to have prepared for the use of<br /> teargas and not to use it.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">In this regard evidence<br /> was given by an expert witness such as Mr Oosthuizen, a former<br /> policeman with long experience and Inspector Jason, who had<br /> previously been part of the police and security company personnel who<br /> together had used teargas successfully to disperse an illegal crowd<br /> at TCL Mining Corporation at Tsumeb.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Oosthuizen testified<br /> that in his opinion the use of teargas was justified. The point was<br /> also made that the use of teargas could not result in serious<br /> injury”, that the scene of accident was in an open space where a<br /> dispersing crowd would have the open veld to move into. There was<br /> also no possibility of a stampede wherein people could be injured.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" class="western" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Even if<br /> there could be argument about the stage when teargas should have been<br /> used, it cannot be doubted that once the aggressive mood and criminal<br /> intent of the crowd became clear, the use of teargas was justified.<br /> This justification was strengthened where the gathering developed<br /> into a violent mob committing Public Violence, Robbery and Theft on a<br /> very serious scale. Failure to use teargas at this and subsequent<br /> stages was in itself negligence. Obviously, there were several other<br /> reasonable steps that could have been taken at the various stages as<br /> indicated in this judgment and nothing said in this section about the<br /> use of teargas, is meant to excuse the failure to have taken the<br /> various steps discussed at the various stages or phases.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) The learned judge <i>a quo</i><br /> held that “it was too late to leave the scene to fetch teargas or<br /> rubber bullets and Mr Oosthuizen had clearly demonstrated that rubber<br /> bullets and dogs would not deter the crowd.”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"> I<br /> cannot agree with this argument, <i>inter alia</i> for the following<br /> reasons:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"> One could not<br /> expect two dogs to deter the crowd if the police force itself have<br /> brought no dogs, were mostly unarmed, had no rubber bullets and no<br /> gas, remained passive throughout and at no stage showed the crowd<br /> that they are determined to take appropriate and drastic action if<br /> the crowd attempted to take the consignment of beer. The learned<br /> judge should have appreciated that the police, who are by the<br /> Constitution and the Police Act mandated to maintain law and order,<br /> preserve internal security, prevent crime, protect life and property<br /> and investigate crime, would be in a better position to act<br /> effectively and make an impression on the crowd.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"> The<br /><u>argument that it was too late</u> to fetch teargas:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The question then arises:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Why did they not fetch it<br /> earlier e.g. when Chief Inspector Munalisa returned. Considering<br /> that they could instantly communicate with the police station and<br /> move to and from within minutes, why would they have had any<br /> difficulty to equip some of their personnel at short notice with<br /> teargas.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) The learned judge said<br /> that:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; font-style: normal; line-height: 100%"><br /> “the crowd consisted of men women and children and many of these<br /> people were probably innocent! There is no justification for<br /> contending that there was a common purpose amongst the members of the<br /> crowd to steal beer.”</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The judge on the next page of<br /> his judgment said that the police was overwhelmed by <u>irresistible<br /> force</u>. The question then is if many in the crowd were innocent,<br /> what and who in the crowd constituted “the irresistible force”?<br /> There must have been a large number of the crowd who actively<br /> participated if one considers that 3744 cartons of beer were carried<br /> off and removed in about ¾ of an hour.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Surely<br /> at least those who stormed towards the vehicles and had a criminal<br /> intent, made up a large part of the crowd and all those who in any<br /> way associated with those that stormed, robbed and stole the beer and<br /> committed public violence, by their association with the others, were<br /> a proper target for rubber bullets and teargas. If some of the crowd<br /> were innocent, they had no reason to stay at the scene for hours and<br /> to associate by their continued presence and even after warning shots<br /> were fired, with those who were the agitators and the activists. If<br /> in such a situation the police use rubber bullets and teargas, any so<br /> called “innocent” civilians who suffers some discomfort, must<br /> blame him or herself. If such a possibility should prevent the<br /> Namibian police from using rubber bullets and teargas, there will be<br /> no deterrent for mob violence, public disorder and crimes such as<br /> robbery, theft and public violence.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I<br /> regret with respect that I have to reject the argument put forward by<br /> the learned presiding judge in the Court <i>a quo</i> also in this<br /> respect. </font><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iv) Mr Goba’s written<br /> submission before us that the Court <i>a quo</i> found that “the<br /> use of teargas under such circumstances would have amounted to an<br /> excessive use of force” is incorrect. The Court never made such a<br /> finding as appears from my above quotation from the judgment.</font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION<br /> VI</u>: <u>WAS THE STORMING AND LOOTING AND ENSUING LOSS FORSEEABLE<br /> AND PREVENTABLE</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">1. The<br /> point of departure for this discussion is that the Namibian Police<br /> Force had in fact failed to execute its functions as laid down in the<br /> Namibian Constitution and the Police Act as stated in paragraph 19 of<br /> SECTION (IV) supra.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">2. The Court <i>a quo</i> found:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">“On<br /> the evidence placed before me, I find that the Namibian Police had no<br /> reasonable grounds for anticipating a riot and theft of beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -1.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i> stated further that it was<br /> neither foreseeable by Oosthuizen nor the police.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In my respectful view the Court <i>a quo</i><br /> misdirected itself in this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.1 In<br /> dealing with the argument that the police should have foreseen the<br /> eventuality of the crowd storming and looting, the learned presiding<br /> judge however said at one stage:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “If Mr Oosthuizen with his credentials <u>did not foresee this<br /> eventuality and dispensed with police assistance</u>, there is no<br /> reason why the police should have foreseen the sudden change in the<br /> mood of the crowd. It ill-behoves Mr Oosthuizen, <u>who<br /> categorically rejected and scorned police help</u>, to cry ‘foul’”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">For this finding, the learned judge <i>a quo</i> did<br /> not refer to and consider Oosthuizen’s vehement rejection of the<br /> allegations made by some police officers that he had told them that<br /> his firm had sole responsibility and that the police must move over<br /> or even remove themselves from the scene. The learned judge also did<br /> not analyse the probabilities mentioned above. A reading of<br /> Oosthuizen’s evidence gives the impression that he was experienced,<br /> knowledgeable, and clear and did not contradict himself on any issue.<br /> I cannot say this from a reading of the evidence of State witnesses<br /> such as Chief Inspector Simeon and Warrant Officer Jason who was a<br /> Warrant Officer at the time of the incident but since then promoted<br /> to the rank of “inspector”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It seems that another witness on the plaintiff’s<br /> side was also ignored. So e.g. there is no mention of the evidence<br /> of Griffiths, the driver of the Dresselhaus vehicle, who said that<br /> when Rubicon arrived on the scene they explained to him that they are<br /> there to assist the police in securing the truck and its load.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In my respectful view the Court misdirected itself in<br /> this regard.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.2 The<br /> Court ignored the uncontradicted evidence by Oosthuizen that the<br /> crowd was aggressive and clearly indicated beforehand that they had<br /> come to take the beer; that he told Chief Inspector Munalisa so when<br /> he arrived on the scene; that Chief Inspector Munalisa then called<br /> for reinforcements. This evidence was not contradicted by any<br /> defence witness and was indeed common cause.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.3 Chief<br /> Inspector Simeon contradicted himself on many occasions. At one<br /> stage he said that “the situation was under control”. Under<br /> cross-examination Simeon conceded that the crowd was of concern to<br /> Munalisa. On the question – “why would it be a matter of concern<br /> if there were many people at the scene? What could the possible<br /> consequences be? Simeon replied: “The people can storm the<br /> overturned truck to get the beer. It was his opinion.” “So he<br /> expressed an opinion at that stage before you left the police station<br /> that he had a concern that the people could storm the truck and take<br /> the beer is that correct? That’s correct My Lord.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.4 Inspector<br /> Jason said in regard to her testimony that the public were insulting<br /> and harassing the police:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Question: “You<br /> said they were insulting and harassing you. What precisely were they<br /> doing or saying?</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">“Answer: “Just<br /> to say – ‘you fucking police’ – ‘daai bier is nie jou ma se<br /> bier nie, is nie jou wat nie” that the type of words…-</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Questions: “Were<br /> they indicating why they were angry or aggressive?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “No<br /> according to them they are mentioning that that is not our mothers<br /> beer, we must not control them and such type of words.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Questions: “Can<br /> I assume that they were angry because you were protecting the beer<br /> and they wanted to take the beer – is that right”.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “I<br /> think so.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 1in; text-indent: -1in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">2.5 Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa was not called by the defendant as a witness. No<br /> explanation was placed on record why not. In the absence of an<br /> explanation the inference must be drawn that he could not support the<br /> defence case.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">3. The Court <i>a quo</i> nevertheless further<br /> argued:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(i) “For<br /> four hours, except for one or two persons, the crowd had not been<br /> hostile or threatening….” This alleged fact was not a fact and<br /> not supported by the evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">(ii) “Was<br /> there reason to believe that a crowd of approximately 2000 average<br /> Namibians, men women and children would suddenly be thieves?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This was another misdirection by the Court <i>a quo</i>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">3.1 There<br /> was no credible evidence that the crowd was 2000 at any stage. The<br /> Court itself found that at the critical time there was about 800<br /> people.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It must be obvious that many in the crowd that<br /> congregated, were not standing there for hours out of curiosity to<br /> see the overturned vehicle. And obviously they did not all stand<br /> there for four hours. Nevertheless, the fact that the crowd was<br /> gradually growing on a working day and a day when most children will<br /> be at school, indicated that most of those who arrived, were not<br /> there out of curiosity and certainly were not women and children.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba was however nearer to the mark when he at one<br /> stage ventured the following explanation:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “The crowd suddenly increases we don’t know why – presumably<br /> somebody went spreading in the township – we don’t know.<br /> ---presumably words spreading in the township, there’s probably –<br /> we’re going to have a feast today, there’s a truck fallen –<br /> there’s a lot of beer and people start streaming, you know…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba’s presumption of the aforesaid <u>probability</u>,<br /> makes sense. But if this was the probable cause of people moving to<br /> the scene of the accident, it means that they had the intent to loot<br /> the fallen truck and its load of beer to have a feast. It also<br /> follows that those who went to the scene did not go out of curiosity,<br /> but because they wanted to steal and thus they were not innocent<br /> people exercising their freedom to move freely around in Namibia, but<br /> intent on committing a serious crime or crimes because of their<br /> thirst for free beer.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><ol start="2"><br /><li><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba further contended:</p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “With the passage of time the crowd which was <u>mainly</u> made up<br /> of <u>women and children and some males</u> increased…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba here distorted the evidence. The pages of<br /> the record referred to does not contain such evidence. No witness<br /> testified to that effect that the crowd consisted <u>mainly</u> of<br /> women and children. It seems that this distorted statement about<br /> “mainly women and children” was put forward to justify the<br /> argument that teargas or other violent means could not be used<br /> because the crowd was mainly made up of women and children.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Later on, Mr Goba further embroidered on his<br /> submission when he emphasized that there were “pregnant woman and<br /> babies” in the crowd. Mr Goba however admitted at one stage:<br /> “Among the crowd <u>certain murmurs were heard demanding to be<br /> allowed to take the beer</u>…” This supports the fact that the<br /> demands were clear at an early stage – long before the actual<br /> storming. But then Mr Goba continued: “…<u>on the basis that it<br /> was damaged, hence not of much value to the owners and insured</u>.”<br /> This excuse again does not appear on the pages of the record and is<br /> clearly an excuse offered by Mr Goba in mitigation of the mob’s<br /> scandalous behaviour.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba continued:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “The murmurs turned to <u>shouts and insults</u> by some<br /> instigators among the crowd such that at a later stage Chief<br /> Inspector Munalisa was booed when he addressed the crowd at about<br /> 10:00.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">There was not a crowd of about 2000 peaceful<br /> Namibians who were peaceful for four hours and then suddenly erupted<br /> into a violent and criminal mob, robbing, stealing and committing the<br /> grave crime of public violence. There was rather a gradual build-up<br /> to that stage which was clearly observable by the police and Rubicon<br /> Security and was in fact observed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">3.4 The<br /> storming and looting was foreseeable if not from the very beginning –<br /> then at least from an earlier stage when much more effective steps<br /> could have been taken to prevent it. But even if it could not have<br /> been prevented <i>in toto</i>, the progressive build-up of a crowd<br /> and vehicles at the scene could have and should have been prevented;<br /> effective steps could have been taken to disperse the crowd at an<br /> earlier stage or at least act against the perpetrators by arresting<br /> and later prosecuting them and recovering all or most of the stolen<br /> goods at a later stage – once the mob had dispersed. As previously<br /> indicated, the Court <i>a quo</i> directed all its attention to the<br /> stage when the crowd stormed the vehicles and the looting began, and<br /> the question whether the storming and looting was foreseeable,<br /> instead of focussing and evaluating the events during the various<br /> phases or periods discussed in <u>SECTION V, paragraph 7 supra</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Even if the storming and<br /> initial looting was not foreseeable, then it was at any event<br /> foreseeable that in the phases that followed, the culprits would go<br /> free and the loot, the property obtained by the culprits by means of<br /> theft, robbery and public violence, would be irretrievably lost to<br /> its owners or those that legally acquired their rights, <u>unless<br /> effective and reasonable steps were taken by the police in terms of<br /> the Constitution and the Police Act to prevent the loss</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">4. <u>Was the loss preventable</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court also found that the police could not<br /> prevent the loss because they were faced by “<i>vis major</i>” or<br /> “irresistible force”. I with respect, cannot agree with this<br /> finding in the light of the facts, circumstances and reasons set out<br /> in the various sections of this judgment. Simply put, in my<br /> respectful view, there was no irresistible force confronting the<br /> Namibian Police at any stage.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Alternatively, the Police Force cannot shield behind<br /> such an excuse when it failed to take effective and reasonable steps<br /> beforehand to prevent such a situation to develop when there were<br /> ominous signs of such an eventuality.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Furthermore, even if there developed an “irresistible<br /> force” which applied at a particular moment or stage, that is no<br /> excuse for not taking reasonable steps to arrest and prosecute the<br /> criminals and to recover the property or part of it in the stages<br /> immediately following when there was ample opportunity to do so. At<br /> no stage did the police explain why they were unable to retrieve any<br /> of the property during those stages or phases.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">4.1 If<br /> the Namibian police was hampered by lack of training or education or<br /> scarcity of vehicles and equipment, or lack of leadership qualities,<br /> or uncertainty about who was in charge at the scene of accident –<br /> which became a scene of crime, such problems must be urgently<br /> addressed, but does not afford a lawful excuse for the Namibian<br /> Police as an institution, not to have properly executed their legal<br /> functions and duties towards the plaintiff at the scene of accident<br /> before, during and after the heinous crimes were committed.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><u>SECTION VII</u>: <u>THE ALLEGATION THAT SOME<br /> MEMBERS OF THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE THEMSELVES INCITED THE CROWD AND<br /> TOOK SOME OF THE CONTAINERS OF BEER FROM THE OVERTURNED VEHICLE OF<br /> THE PLAINTIFF</u>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">This grave allegation that beer was taken by the<br /> police from the vehicle itself was first made by Griffiths, the<br /> driver of the overturned vehicle and later also by Oosthuizen of<br /> Rubicon Security.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The allegation that policemen who were standing at<br /> the back said that the stock was already insured and the people could<br /> take it was made only by Oosthuizen in his evidence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Griffiths specifically testified that he saw police<br /> as well as people with company cars like that from Telecom <u>off<br /> loading</u> beers from the overturned truck after the canvas was cut<br /> and the straps severed, and he saw the police take the boxes of beer<br /> off, loaded by then and load it into a police vehicle with which he<br /> was at some stage given a lift into town to get a tele-card.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Griffiths furthermore testified that he subsequently<br /> saw and heard a traffic officer warning a regular police officer<br /> “that you will be in trouble loading these beers on the police<br /> van.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Notwithstanding the clear allegation made by<br /> plaintiff in its particulars of claim that the police took containers<br /> of beer from the overturned vehicle and placed it on a police<br /> vehicle, Mr Goba now commenced a confusing line of cross-examination.<br /> He asked:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Question: “So if I put it that the beer that was<br /> found on the police van was placed there by one of the gentlemen who<br /> had been with you when the police first came…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Answer: “I don’t believe it Your Worship.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">On further questions Griffiths explained that the<br /> only persons with him after the accident were his nephews who came to<br /> visit him at the scene of the accident and they were school children<br /> – they don’t drink beer and they did not put cases of beer onto a<br /> police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Goba further put it to the witness that those cases<br /> of beer were removed from the police van on the instructions of a<br /> police officer. That was not contested.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The presiding judge then started putting a new<br /> possible defence to the witness as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Now you testified that a policeman put cases of beer into a police<br /> car. Sometimes the police take charge, look after damaged property<br /> and put it into their vehicles to protect it. Is it possible that<br /> this policeman who put it in his van in the car was putting it there<br /> in order to protect it? Answer: “That I couldn’t say Your<br /> Lordship.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It should be observed that up to that stage Mr Goba<br /> had not raised that defence at all.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen’s clear and<br /> unambiguous evidence in this regard was as follows:<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-right: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “You’ve testified the crowd was stealing the beer, did you see<br /> any police person on the scene trying to prevent this happening?”<br /> Answer: “Your Lordship, after we withdrew, I have seen that nobody<br /> was rejected from taking the stock. As we moved to the back of the<br /> car, (meant overturned vehicle) <u>I saw a police officer jumped on<br /> the truck and took, a sergeant jumped on the truck and make use of<br /> the opportunity and take himself some beer</u>. <u>From the police<br /> that were standing at the back said that the stock was already<br /> insured and the people can take it</u>. <u>The beer that was taken<br /> by a police officer was then put into what we call a Venture with<br /> number POL 4468</u>. I went to Chief Inspector Ashipala who stood<br /> with Chief Inspector Simeon. Chief Inspector Ashipala was dressed in<br /> civilian clothes. I told him that the beer were loaded on a police<br /> van. We then together went with him to the police van. I showed him<br /> where the beer was hidden under a police uniform – a blue police<br /> uniform. At that moment there were two police sergeants with one<br /> female police. We moved back where Chief Inspector Simeon and<br /> Inspector Ashipala was standing and discussing. Chief Inspector<br /> Simeon informed Inspector Ashipala that he cannot send his officials<br /> into the crowd with the fact that he’s afraid they will get injured<br /> or hurt….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">On further questions Oosthuizen said that beer was<br /> not removed from the police vehicle in his presence. On questions as<br /> to why the beer was placed in the police vehicle in the first place<br /> Oosthuizen said:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “What I can say is that people took things as I have said from the<br /> truck for their own benefit. So the police even went on top of the<br /> truck, get themselves the beer for themselves….”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “After I finished the discussion with Chief Inspector Simeon and<br /> Inspector Ashipala, I personally took the task and go about writing<br /> down all numbers and number plates of the private cars which were<br /> loaded with this beer.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In cross-examination Mr Goba put it to Oosthuizen<br /> that:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “I am instructed that the <u>driver of the motor vehicle which<br /> overturned</u>, Mr Griffiths had been with another gentlemen on the<br /> truck and towards the end of all the looting procedures this man<br /> approached a police sergeant who was standing at this particular<br /> police vehicle with his bags and this case of beer and requested the<br /> police to give him a lift into town since he didn’t have transport<br /> and he told the police, he was asked about the beer that he had with<br /> him and he said that the beer had been damaged and was written off so<br /> there was no problem with him taking the beer with him. Do you know<br /> anything about that?”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen wanted clarification and asked: “Is it<br /> the person with Mr Griffiths or Mr Griffiths himself?” Answer by<br /> Goba: “The person with Mr Griffiths.” Answer by Oosthuizen: “I<br /> don’t know such a person – My Lord.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Goba now put to Oosthuizen a new and confusing<br /> version quite different from that put to Griffiths. Question:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Now Mr Oosthuizen – my instruction are and evidence will be led<br /> in this regard if necessary, that <u>in fact as the crowd was taking<br /> the beer from the truck and placed on the ground and the police would<br /> in the process attempt to take the beer and keep it themselves but<br /> then other people in the crowd would came and take the beer from the<br /> police as well. What do you say about that?”</u></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Oosthuizen appears to have misunderstood what was now<br /> put to him and answered: “………it is <u>possible</u> that the<br /> beer was put down there by the police and it is possible that the<br /> people grabbed it and walked away with it…”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">What Oosthuizen answered was consistent with his<br /> former testimony that a police person offloaded the beer from the<br /> truck and was not an admission that the police may have taken beer<br /><u>off loaded by members of the crowd</u> and put by these members on<br /> the ground, then taken by the police and then retaken by members of<br /> the crowd.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">What Goba here put to Oosthuizen is fundamentally<br /> different from what was put to Griffiths. One wonders why, if “other<br /> people in the crowd would come and take the beer from the police”<br /> the said police could not at least have attempted to arrest such<br /> people or resist such retaking.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">And now at last, Mr Goba moved over to the line<br /> previously suggested by the learned judge as a defence. Goba asked:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “Furthermore Mr Oosthuizen is <u>it not possible that this beer</u><br /> might have been placed in that police van in order to secure it?”<br /> Answer: “My Lord if I do take things and I put it in a police<br /> vehicle for security purposes then I would not cover it with police<br /> jackets etc.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is noteworthy that Mr Goba continued with this<br /> vague form of cross-examination asking about whether this or that is<br /> possible, without once putting a firm proposition such as e.g.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB">“Chief<br /> Inspector Mr X will testify that he would deny that the beer was<br /> taken from the overturned vehicle! That it was taken from the ground<br /> whereon members of the crowd had placed it. That they put it in a<br /> police vehicle to secure it!”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The <u>possibility</u> suggested by Goba that the<br /> boxes of beer was put in the police vehicle to protect it from the<br /> looters is obviously also in direct conflict with his first effort<br /> where he tried to place the blame on an alleged colleague of the<br /> driver Griffiths who according to Goba, actually placed the beer in<br /> the police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In conclusion Mr Goba put another “possibility”<br /> to Oosthuizen as follows:</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /> “I just want to find out from you Mr Oosthuizen <u>is it not<br /> possible</u> that, in fact what you are telling the Court about this<br /> beers <u>is something that you heard from the driver of the motor<br /> vehicle and not what you yourself</u>, personally saw?” Answer:<br /> “<u>My Lord I have</u> seen it <u>personally with my own two eyes</u>.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Mr Goba later in his cross-examination stated that<br /> Ashipala actually spoke to a sergeant about the beer in response to<br /> the report made by Oosthuizen to him. It is necessary for me to<br /> observe that the cross-examination by Mr Goba on this crucial issue<br /> was a fishing expedition and did not constitute proper<br /> cross-examination. There was also no proper rebuttal by the<br /> witnesses later called by the defence.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It is also important to note that Mr Goba did not<br /> take issue with Oosthuizen on his other grave allegation to the<br /> effect that some policemen standing at the back of the truck even<br /> justified a taking by the public on the ground “that the stock was<br /> already insured and the people can take it.” Not only was no<br /> member of the public prosecuted but no police person was prosecuted,<br /> notwithstanding the complaint.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">In the circumstances the evidence by Griffiths and<br /> Oosthuizen were not properly contested and should have been<br /> considered and accepted by the Court <i>a quo</i>.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">According to the Court <i>a quo</i>, Inspector Jason<br /> testified that she saw members of the police remove cases of beer<br /> from members of the crowd. “While there is no evidence to link<br /> these cases to the cases of beer Mr Oosthuizen saw the police put<br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">into a police vehicle, he in any event demanded that<br /> the beer be removed from the police vehicle. If these cases of beer<br /> had been taken into police custody, where were these cases to be put<br /> if they were not to be put into a police vehicle? Members of the<br /> crowd swarmed over the trailers and it appears as if a police vehicle<br /> would have been a good place to put such cases.”</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The learned judge <i>a quo</i> here failed to make<br /> any finding as he should have done on the uncontested evidence of<br /> Oosthuizen and Griffiths, about cases of beer removed from the<br /> overturned vehicle by certain police persons and placed in a police<br /> vehicle. The Court also failed to make a finding on whether or not<br /> the cases of beer allegedly taken by the police from members of the<br /> crowd, were in fact so taken. According to Mr Goba in his<br /> cross-examination, cases of beer taken by the police from members of<br /> the crowd, <u>were retaken by the crowd from the police</u>. If that<br /> is so the beer so taken from the crowd and retaken by members of the<br /> crowd could not be an explanation of the containers of beer seen in<br /> the police vehicle.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">A finding by the Court whether or not such cases were<br /> taken by the police from members of the public and placed by the<br /> police in the police vehicle, would have been relevant and even<br /> necessary in view of the serious implications of the issue. But<br /> instead the Court again goes no further than again speculating on the<br /> issue as the Court had done when it first speculated in the course of<br /> cross-examination by Mr Goba on such a possible defence. The Court<br /> now says: “<u>If</u> these cases of beer had been taken into<br /> custody, where were these cases to be put in a police vehicle?” In<br /> so speculating, the Court failed to consider and make a finding or at<br /> least comment on the other conflicting versions put forward by Mr<br /> Goba in his cross-examination.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The Court <i>a quo</i> also wrongly failed to<br /> consider and make a finding as it should have done on Oosthuizen’s<br /> uncontested and uncontradicted evidence about police persons standing<br /> at the back of the truck who justified the looting by saying that<br /> “the stock was already insured and the people can take it”. It<br /> is also clear from the above that the Court wrongly failed to<br /> consider the impact of these acts of commission on the outcome of the<br /> case.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The aforesaid evidence is important, because if<br /> accepted, it would have helped to explain the inaction of the police,<br /> except for the effort of Chief Inspector Munalisa, before he also<br /> left the scene.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">It stands to reason that such conduct by some<br /> policemen would have given those in the crowd with criminal intent<br /> the impression that the police was with them and that they had<br /> nothing to fear from the police if they loot the property.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">The said evidence would also mean that there were not<br /> only acts of omission by the police, but acts of commission, which<br /> are <u>presumed</u> to be unlawful.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION<br /> VIII</u>: <u>THE LAW OF DELICT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE</u>.</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> view of the fact that there does not seem to be any serious<br /> disagreement between counsel for the parties, I need not and do not<br /> intend to extend this already long judgment unduly.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><u><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> Minister of Police v Ewels</font></u><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote2anc" href="#sdfootnote2sym" id="sdfootnote2anc"><sup>2</sup></a></font></sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><br /> it was held that a negligent omission will be regarded as unlawful<br /> conduct when the circumstances of the case are of such a nature that<br /> the omission evokes not only moral indignation, but that the ‘legal<br /> convictions of the community’ require that it should be regarded as<br /> unlawful. The Court in Ewels had no hesitation in pronouncing that a<br /> legal duty existed and rested on police members who refrained from<br /> protecting Ewels when assaulted at the police station. In arriving<br /> at its conclusion the Court took into account –</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(i) the<br /> statutory duties of the police;</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) the<br /> fact that the assault took place on the premises of the police<br /> station;</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) the particular<br /> relationship of protection between a member of the police force and<br /> an ordinary person; and the fact that the on-duty police could have<br /> intervened on behalf of the assaulted plaintiff without any<br /> difficulty.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the more recent case of <i>Minister of Safety and Security v van<br /> Duivensboden</i>,</font><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote3anc" href="#sdfootnote3sym" id="sdfootnote3anc"><sup>3</sup></a></font></sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><br /> The South African Supreme Court of Appeal dealt with the legal issues<br /> relevant to the instant case.</font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>The facts of this case were briefly:</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">One B owned two licensed<br /> firearms. He habitually consumed alcohol to excess and while under<br /> the influence of liquor, was inclined to become aggressive and abuse<br /> his family. On 25 October 1995 a domestic squabble between B and his<br /> wife developed in the course of which B shot and killed his wife and<br /> young daughter. He also shot the respondent in the ankle and<br /> shoulder.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The police had prior to this<br /> been in possession of information which reflected on B’s fitness to<br /> possess firearms long before the respondent had been shot. While<br /> some of the information had emanated from B wife, members of the<br /> police had had direct information as a result of two occasions on<br /> which they had been summoned to defuse B’s threats to shoot his<br /> wife and family. The second of these occasions when the police<br /> entered the house after a siege lasting many hours, they found that B<br /> had lined up at least 20 boxes of spare ammunition and had reduced<br /> the house to a shambles.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The respondent sought to recover<br /> from the Minister of Safety and Security the damages he had sustained<br /> as a result of his injuries on the grounds that although the police<br /> officers had known, from the events of 27 September 1994, that B was<br /> unfit to possess firearms, they negligently had failed to take steps<br /> available to them in terms of Section 11 of the Act to deprive B of<br /> firearms. As a result of that failure, B had still been in<br /> possession of firearms on 25<sup>th</sup> October 1995 when<br /> respondent was shot.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The respondent’s claim was<br /> dismissed by a single judge but allowed on appeal to the full bench.<br /> The Minister then appealed to the Supreme Court of appeal but the<br /> appeal was rejected. Although reliance was placed by the Court of<br /> appeal on provisions of the South African Constitution which are not<br /> contained in the Namibian Constitution, the fundamental right to life<br /> and property is fundamentally the same. In any case the legal duties<br /> which rest on the Namibian police and </font><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 100%">through them on the<br /> Government and the State, are clearly set out in the various articles<br /> of the Constitution and in the Police Act as set out in SECTION III<br /> of this judgment.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the aforesaid decision the Court held <i>inter alia</i>:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(i) Negligence is not<br /> inherently unlawful. It is unlawful, and thus actionable, only if it<br /> occurs in circumstances that the law recognizes as making it<br /> unlawful. Unlike the case of a <u>positive act causing physical<br /> harm, which is presumed to be unlawful</u>, a negligent omission is<br /> unlawful only if it occurs in circumstances that the law regards as<br /> sufficient to give rise to a legal duty to avoid negligently causing<br /> harm.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) “There is no<br /> effective way to hold the State to account in the present case other<br /> than by way of an action for damages and, in the absence of any norm<br /> or consideration of public policy that outweighs it, the<br /> constitutional norm of accountability requires that a legal duty be<br /> recognized. The negligent conduct of the police officers in those<br /> circumstances is thus actionable and the State is vicariously liable<br /> for the consequences of any such negligence.”</font><sup><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><a class="sdfootnoteanc" name="sdfootnote4anc" href="#sdfootnote4sym" id="sdfootnote4anc"><sup>4</sup></a></font></sup></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In the case of <i>Carmichele v<br /> Minister of Safety and Security</i>, the South African Constitutional<br /> Court upheld an appeal against a decision of the High Court and the<br /> Supreme Court of Appeal dismissing an action for damages by<br /> Carmichele, a woman, who had been brutally assaulted by one C at the<br /> house of a Mrs G.</font></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%">The action was based<br /> on alleged omissions by the police and the Public Prosecutor which<br /> resulted in the release of C on bail on previous charges of Rape,<br /> when there was information available to the police and through them<br /> to the prosecutor, of C’s previous conviction and crimes which may<br /> have resulted in bail being refused if the magistrate was given the<br /> correct information.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">C’s brutal assault on<br /> Carmichael was perpetrated when he was on bail.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The High Court had granted<br /> absolution from the instance. The Constitutional Court now remitted<br /> the case for a proper hearing to the High Court. The argument before<br /> the Constitutional Court centred on the implicit duty of the Courts<br /> to develop the common law in accordance with the letter and spirit of<br /> the common law, wherever the existing common law does not meet the<br /> requirements of justice in accordance with the South African<br /> Constitution.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The Court held <i>inter alia</i><br /> that there was a duty on the State and its organs not to perform any<br /> act that infringed the fundamental rights entrenched in the South<br /> African Constitution and further held that in some circumstances<br /> there would also be a positive component obliging the State and its<br /> organs to provide adequate protection to everyone through laws and<br /> structures designed to afford such protection – the Constitution<br /> did not draw a distinction between acts of commission and omission in<br /> this regard.</font></p><br /><p style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="line-height: 100%">It must be noted that the South African<br /> Constitutional Court did not finally decide the matter because the<br /> facts still had to be decided by the High Court and findings made<br /> applying the law to the facts. However the Constitutional Court held<br /> that a prosecutor’s negligence not to place relevant information<br /> before the magistrate relating to an application for bail, could<br /> result in awarding damages to a plaintiff who had been injured by a<br /> criminal wrongly released on bail, because the prosecutor had failed<br /> to supply available relevant information to the Court.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In<br /> the decision of <i>Van Eden v Minister of Safety and Security</i>,<br /> the South African Supreme Court of Appeal awarded damages to the<br /> plaintiff where the plaintiff, a 19 year old woman, was sexually<br /> assaulted, raped and robbed by M, a known dangerous criminal and<br /> serial rapist who had escaped from police custody.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> plaintiff claimed that the police owed her a duty to take reasonable<br /> steps to prevent M from escaping and causing harm. The Court <i>a<br /> quo</i> dismissed plaintiff’s claim but the Supreme Court allowed<br /> the appeal and made the following order:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">1. It is declared that the<br /> conduct of the defendant’s servants was wrongful and that the<br /> defendant is liable to the plaintiff for such damages as she is able<br /> to prove…”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p>As motivation for the Court’s order the Court held that the<br /> police owed the appellant a legal duty to act positively to prevent<br /> Mohamed’s escape. The learned judge who wrote the judgment said<br /> that:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; margin-right: 0.35in; margin-top: 0.17in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “the existence of such a duty accords with what I would perceive to<br /> be the legal convictions of the community and there are no<br /> considerations of public policy militating against the imposition of<br /> such a duty. To sum up, I have reached this conclusion mainly in<br /> view of the State’s Constitutional imperatives to which I have<br /> referred; the fact that the police had control over Mohamed who was<br /> known to be a dangerous criminal and who was likely to commit further<br /> sexual offences against women should he escape; and the fact that<br /> measures to prevent his escape could reasonably and practically have<br /> been taken by the police….”</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>Although the Namibian Constitution does not contain an explicit<br /> provision that the Courts must adapt the common law where it does not<br /> accord with the letter and spirit of the common law, the NAMIBIAN<br /> Constitution and Police Act, not only amplifies the common law in<br /> relation to the Law of Delict, but overrides it where the common law<br /> is inconsistent or inadequate.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>Although the Namibian Constitution and statute law are the main<br /> sources of law on which the Namibian Courts must rely in deciding the<br /> legal issues arising in this case, the South African decisions<br /> discussed herein, afford useful guidelines also for the Namibian<br /> Courts.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u>SECTION<br /> IX</u>: <u>CONCLUDING REMARKS</u></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> events at Tsumeb on 21<sup>st</sup> August 2000 can only be<br /> described as shocking and scandalous. It is a blemish on Namibia<br /> and Namibians, its Rule of Law, its administration of justice, and<br /> the Namibian Police, its level of competence and its ability and<br /> commitment to perform its functions and duties laid down by the<br /> Namibian Constitution, the Police Act and other statutes.</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.25in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"> It is also<br /> particularly disturbing that such a large section of a Namibian<br /> community could willingly participate in such serious and heinous<br /> crimes. No wonder that serious crimes have escalated in recent years<br /> in Namibia.</p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB"><br /><br /></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" style="margin-left: 0.5in" xml:lang="en-GB">Grave crimes were<br /> committed in the presence of the police and they pleaded <i>inter<br /> alia</i> that they were overrun by a mob and were unable to prevent<br /> it. The position is however aggravated by the fact that the police<br /> failed to take any action against the perpetrators after being<br /> “overrun”. So e.g. no steps were taken to recover the property,<br /> but also no prosecutions were ever instituted, notwithstanding the<br /> commission of grave and heinous crimes in broad daylight in their<br /> presence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">2. There was much<br /> speculation in this case about the reasons for the crowd’s<br /> behaviour. Unfortunately, the events at Tsumeb, were not the first<br /> and only such occurrence in Namibia.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">I may mention that in evidence under<br /> oath given at public hearings of the “Judicial Commission of<br /> Enquiry into Legislation for the more effective combating of crime in<br /> Namibia”, chaired by myself, it became clear that several incidents<br /> of the same nature had taken place in Namibia.</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">The phenomenon was regarded as so<br /> serious and so objectionable, that the Commission in its written<br /> report to the President dated 12 August 1997 recommended that<br /> provision is made in the envisaged new Criminal Procedure Act for a<br /> minimum sentence of two (2) year imprisonment and a maximum sentence<br /> of eighteen (18) years, for the crime of Theft, <u>committed at or<br /> from a place of accident or scene of crime</u>. The crime is<br /> obviously much more serious when committed by a violent mob,<br /> amounting to Robbery and Public Violence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">At page 625 of the report the<br /> Commission motivated this recommendation as follows:</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.35in; line-height: 100%"><br /> “<font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">Various forms of theft which<br /> have become particularly damaging or prejudicial to the individual<br /> and/or the State and/or where the society’s <u>disapproval</u><br /> should be marked, have been selected for the regime of maximum and<br /> minimum sentences.”</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1in; margin-right: 0.35in; line-height: 100%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>One would have thought that when a civilized person arrives at a<br /> scene of accident, such person would be inclined to establish whether<br /> he/she could be of any assistance, rather than engage in robbing and<br /> stealing and even joining a mob to rob and steal, disrupt public<br /> order and commit Public Violence.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p>It is in the public interest of Namibia and all its citizens that<br /> steps are urgently taken to prevent and discourage the development of<br /> a culture where people believe that it is right to plunder and loot<br /> the persons and property involved in an accident and that such<br /> plunder and looting carries the approval of the Namibian Police, will<br /> not be prevented and/or discouraged by the police and will go<br /> unpunished.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3. I have no doubt<br /> in this case that:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.1. The Namibian<br /> Police had a legal duty provided for in the Namibian Constitution and<br /> Police Act towards the plaintiff, to protect the plaintiff and its<br /> property. The aforesaid legal duty also amounted to a “duty of<br /> care” as known in the Law of Delict.</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.2. The police<br /> had failed to fulfill their aforesaid legal duties and in particular<br /> had failed to take reasonable steps to do so. The reasonable steps<br /> here contemplated are steps to be taken by the reasonable police<br /> persons in the execution of the onerous legal duties imposed by the<br /> Namibian Constitution and the Police Act, on the Namibian Police<br /> Force.</p><br /><p><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in">The reasonable steps are those to be<br /> taken by members of a professional police force trained and equipped,<br /> mentally and materially, for their tasks. The Government cannot<br /> escape liability if it had failed to take reasonable steps for such<br /> training and equipment.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><ol start="3"><br /><ol start="3"><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">The<br /> negligent omission by the Namibian Police Force to perform their<br /> aforesaid legal duties was a direct cause of the theft of the<br /> property of the plaintiff and the failure to retrieve it.</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /></ol><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.4. As a direct<br /> consequence of the acts and omissions of the defendant, the plaintiff<br /> suffered damages in the amount of N$134 254.60.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">3.5. The aforesaid<br /> findings in my respectful view also accord with the legal convictions<br /> of the law-abiding citizens of Namibia.</p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">4. The judgment in this case is<br /> long overdue. The reason for this is that judge Pio Teek, JA, to<br /> whom the duty was allocated in April 2004 by the then acting Chief<br /> Justice Strydom to prepare the judgment of the Court, had failed to<br /> do so by the time that he was suspended by His Excellency, the<br /> President of Namibia on the recommendation of the Judicial<br /> Commission, pending the outcome of criminal charges against him and a<br /> final consideration and recommendation by the Judicial Commission in<br /> the light of such outcome.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In my respectful view, the<br /> remaining two members of the Supreme Court, namely Strydom A.C.J and<br /> myself, may hand down a valid and binding judgment in this appeal,<br /> provided we agree on the result.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">In this regard I associate<br /> myself with the opinion of Strydom, A.C.J., in his judgment in <i>Wirtz<br /> v Orford</i>, handed down at the same time as my judgment in this<br /> appeal, concurred in by Strydom A.C.J.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><br /><br /></p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in">In the result the<br /> following order is made:</p><br /><p style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.5in"><br /><br /></p><br /><ol><br /><li><p>The appeal succeeds.</p><br /></li><li><p>The respondent is ordered to pay to the appellant:</p><br /><ol type="i"><br /><li><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">the<br /> sum of N$134 254;</font></p><br /></li></ol><br /></li></ol><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(ii) interest thereon at the<br /> rate of 20% a <i>tempore morae </i>from date of judgment; and</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-left: 1.5in; text-indent: -0.5in; line-height: 200%"><br /><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">(iii) Costs of suit in the Court<br /><i>a quo</i> and in this appeal.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">________________________</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">O’LINN,<br /> A.J.A</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">I<br /> agree</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt"><u> </u></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">STRYDOM,<br /> A.C.J.</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 100%"><br /><br /></p><br /><table width="600" border="0" cellpadding="7" cellspacing="0"><br /><col width="286" /><br /><col width="286" /><br /><tr valign="TOP"><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3">ON BEHALF OF THE<br /> APPELLANT:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">INSTRUCTED<br /> BY<b>:</b></font></font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><br /><br /></p><br /></td><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">MR.<br /> A.W. CORBETT</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">LORENTZ<br /> &amp; BONE</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><br /><br /></p><br /></td><br /></tr><br /><tr valign="TOP"><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3">ON BEHALF OF<br /> RESPONDENT:</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">INSTRUCTED<br /> BY:</font></p><br /></td><br /><td width="286"><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">MR.<br /> R.H. GOBA</font></p><br /><p class="western" align="LEFT"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">GOVERNMENT<br /> ATTORNEY</font></p><br /></td><br /></tr><br /></table><br /><p class="western" align="JUSTIFY" style="line-height: 200%"><br /><br /></p><br /><div id="sdfootnote1"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote1sym" href="#sdfootnote1anc" id="sdfootnote1sym">1</a><br /> 1976 (2) 450 (N.P.D)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote2"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote2sym" href="#sdfootnote2anc" id="sdfootnote2sym">2</a><br /> 1975 (3) SA 590 (A)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote3"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote3sym" href="#sdfootnote3anc" id="sdfootnote3sym">3</a><br /> 2002 (6) SA 431 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><div id="sdfootnote4"><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a class="sdfootnotesym" name="sdfootnote4sym" href="#sdfootnote4anc" id="sdfootnote4sym">4</a><br /><u>See also</u>: <u>Van Edden v Minister of Safety and Security</u>,<br /> 2003 (1) 389 SCA.</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Kruger<br /> v Coetzee</u>, 1966 (2) SA 428 (A) <u>Mukheiber v Raath</u>, 1999<br /> (3) SA 1065 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Carmichele<br /> v Minister of Safety and Security</u>, 2001(4) SA 938 CC.</font></font></p><br /><p lang="en-GB" align="LEFT" style="line-height: 100%" xml:lang="en-GB"><font face="Arial, sans-serif"><font size="2"><u>Van<br /> Eeden v Minister of Safety and Security</u>, 2003 (1) SA 389 (SCA)</font></font></p><br /></div><br /><br /></span></div></div> </div> </div> Mon, 05 Oct 2020 14:47:21 +0000 Anonymous 9039 at http://namiblii.org