Cop fingered in Omaruru man’s death

The family of 60-year-old Ferdinand Nababeb have lodged a complaint against an Omaruru police officer, who they are accusing of causing their loved one’s death.
 
According to a family member, the deceased started complaining of an ear ache, following his violent confrontation with the police officer.
 
Nababeb passed away at the end of last month in the Omaruru State Hospital, after he was allegedly struck near his left ear by the police officer.
 
The hospital treated him and sent him home, but the pain escalated and he subsequently returned to the State health facility, before eventually passing away
 
“He was fit and healthy prior to the confrontation with the police officer. He did not have any heart problems,” the family member, who did not want to be identified, said. Warrant Officer Eric Mumbala confirmed to the Windhoek Observer that the deceased had indeed been held at the Omaruru Police Station, after he threw a stone at a police officer, who was struck on the mouth.
 
The police officer then hit Nababeb, who was later kept in a holding cell for the night.
 
According to Mumbala, the confrontation with the police officer started after the deceased’s son was questioned about the theft of a television set.
 
He added that the confrontation happened on 14 August and that the deceased only went to hospital on the 24th, and passed away two days later.
 
“The gentleman could not have died from the beating, because he was only admitted to hospital 10 days later, and the doctors said he had suffered a heart attack,” Mumbala said.
 
A post-mortem report issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services said that the deceased died of cardiorespiratory arrest. It states that he was admitted to hospital with a history of fever and insomnia, while he also looked weak, and was sweating after a heavy alcohol intake.
 
The report also said that there was no history of trauma reported, while the deceased had hypertension and was on treatment.
 
It further stated that the deceased did not look pale and was well-hydrated, with a blood pressure reading of 107/87 and a pulse of 65.
 
However, a post-mortem report requested by the family, after they opened a case at the Walvis Bay police station, states that the deceased died of meningitis.
 
The family said that they requested a post-mortem examination of the deceased’s head, to ascertain whether he had died as a result of the beating.
 
The family is questioning why the State medical report says that he died of a heart attack, while the private post-mortem says otherwise.
 
A Windhoek-based doctor, who refused to be named, said that if the deceased had complained of ear or head pain, it might have been the result of head trauma.
 
He also stated that the meningitis result overlaps with head trauma symptoms.
 
Police Deputy Commissioner, Edwin Kanguatjivi, said that the family has the right to lodge a complaint and open a case, but it will be up to the courts to decide if the policeman caused the man’s death.
 
 

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