Nauyoma’s mother defends activists after arrests

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SHELLEYGAN PETERSEN and ELIASER NDEYANALE

AFFIRMATIVE Repositioning (AR) movement activist Victoria Nkoshi, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma’s mother, defended her son as well as his friend Michael Amushelelo this weekend and said she was tired of her son being “arrested for nothing”.

Nkoshi said so in a 22-minute video clip of a meeting with Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) leader Ephaphras Mukwiilongo and his deputy Longinus Iipumbu at their home in Windhoek on Saturday.

“I’m tired of my kids getting arrested for nothing,” she said.

This was in response to the activists’ arrest on Friday after they led a protest march in China Town in Windhoek’s northern industrial district to shut down shops in the complex.

Nkoshi encouraged NEFF leaders to step forward and fight for what they believe to be right. She said if police believe her comments are inciting violence, they should arrest her.

“I’m not afraid, I’m a freedom fighter,” she said.

AR activist Paulus Kathanga wrote to the Northern Regions Police Commissioners, as well as Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) Commissioner Sam Shivute, last week, asking them to escort the AR if they work to “clean up our region from fake and counterfeit products to get rid of Chinese companies”.

“The campaign will start on Monday, May 16, 2022 (today) and will run continuously until the desired goal is reached. We have also written to the Namibian Police asking for officers to be present for this joint campaign,” he wrote.

The leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani, said yesterday: “There must be a sensible implementation of the law that takes into account the economic reality of the country.”

“CALL A MEETING”

Venaani said Amushelelo has a strong argument that counterfeit goods should be subjected to the same response from Namra across the country.

He called on Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to convene a meeting with Namra, the police and the political parties concerned to raise the matter.

Artists have also spoken out against Namra, stating that the China Town shopping complex sells their counterfeit products without the agency doing anything.

NAMRA

Namra spokesman Steven Ndorokaze said yesterday the agency’s warehouses were stocked with illegal goods.

Namra on Tuesday destroyed over N$5 million worth of counterfeit goods that reportedly entered the country illegally.

According to the law, Namra can auction the goods or they can be used by the state.

Ndorokaze said the items set on fire contained counterfeit clothing items from several well-known brands, as well as perfumes and bags.

He said young Namibians are determined to order goods for resale – mainly from China – due to the country’s high unemployment rate.

Ndorokaze dismissed claims that the counterfeit goods destroyed last week included products that arrived this month.

In a statement released on Friday, he said contraband goods had been in their warehouse for seven years, while the latest items were confiscated last year.

“And that’s why it’s not goods that have recently been confiscated,” he said.

He also denied that the goods contained “order from me” goods.

“An unfortunate and unfounded connection has emerged between the destroyed goods and online purchases,” the statement said.

NEFF AND THE POLICE

Namra’s action has led to the NEFF attempting to shut down China Town last week, accusing the agency of being biased.

The NEFF protested Thursday night and Friday morning, resulting in the arrest of eight people, including party leader Epafras Mukwiilongo, Amushelelo and Nauyoma.

Currently, six of the eight people have been released on warning, while Amushelelo and Nauyoma remain in detention.

The two face charges under the Riotous Assemblies Act of inciting public violence, four counts of assault by threats and six counts of trespassing, according to a police report released on Friday

“The remaining two have not been issued with a warning as they do not face the same charges, so they are being separated from the others but are also expected to appear before Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday,” said Kauna Shikwambi, spokeswoman for the national police.

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