SPYL accused of bribery

29 August 2014 Author   Hileni Heita

front spyl 29 augSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Regional Secretary for Khomas Region Emmanuel Paulus allegedly attempted to bribe the ‘struggle kids’ by presenting them with an envelope stuffed with cash, after the shooting incident outside the Swapo headquarters on Wednesday Paulus arrived at the scene, called one of the ‘struggle kids’ and then presented him with a brown envelope, allegedly containing an unspecified amount of money. The ‘struggle kids’ reportedly felt insulted by the attempt to buy them off and felt it demeaned what they were trying to achieve with the demonstration and a life lost in the protest.

 

They surrounded Paulus, pushed and shoved him whilst shouting for him to take his money back into their office (Swapo headquarters) and rather bring their comrade back to life.

The ‘struggle kids’ pushed Paulus all the way back to where the police were standing, and in the presence of police officers, Paulus threatened a Windhoek Observer journalist who tried to take pictures of him.

“Take one more picture and you will see,” Paulus threatened. “You have no idea who I am but just take one more picture,” he added while angrily pointing to the journalist.

The police stood idle while Paulus made threats of violence and only the ‘struggle kids’ eventually came to the aid of the journalist.

Paulus, who the ‘struggle kids’ refer to as ‘Kalolo’ meaning spy/snitch, is a familiar face to the ‘struggle kids’ as he was apparently responsible for choosing 20 people from the list of ‘struggle kids’ whom the Government gave jobs.

“He came to the camp once and picked out 20 names from the list. However, these 20 people who received the jobs were not randomly selected, but were rather people he was friends with,” one of the ‘struggle kids’ said.

They further alleged that Paulus would put in the names of female ‘struggle kids’ in exchange for sexual favours.

Called for comment, SPYL spokesperson Job Amupanda informed the Windhoek observer that Paulus had left country, but later called back to say that Paulus would call the newspaper in a short while.

“We need to protect our own. I’m sure you understand,” Amupanda said.

Paulus denied bribing or exchanging jobs for sex with the ‘struggle kids.’

“I have dealt with the ‘struggle kids’ for a very long time now, and I have done it in my capacity as regional secretary to try to talk to them and understand their plight as I usually do.

“I only went to the scene because I needed to talk to the leaders in order to obtain information about the woman who was killed and to tell them to respect her memory and dismiss the strike,” Paulus said.

He, however, admitted to threatening the journalists who were taking pictures of him.

“Yes, why should they take pictures of me? I’m not a ‘struggle kid’ or a police officer, they should rather take pictures of the people involved in the strike,” Paulus said.

With regard to the allegations the ‘struggle kids’ had made against him, Paulus said he did not know who had spread “such information” since he has never had problems with any of his comrades (struggle kids) before.

“I’m not shocked that you (the journalist) called me. In fact, I have been expecting it and in my personal capacity, I would like to say that there are consequences for every action so you can go ahead and print whatever you want. I have all my documents together,” Paulus said.

SPYL Secretary Elijah Ngurare denied that Paulus had gone there to bribe the ‘struggle kids.’

“I am aware that Paulus was at the scene, but I can confidently say that he was not trying to bribe anyone, but rather to assist the police to gain control over the situation,” Ngurare said.

Blocking vehicles

The ‘struggle kids’ blocked most vehicles carrying Swapo party officials from entering the party headquarters after they laid down on the dusty road and forced the vehicles to turn back.

Sources said one of the vehicles that were denied access to the premises belonged to the Swapo Party Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba.

The ‘struggle kids’, comprising mostly of women and children, chanted liberation songs while they lay in the road with some of them still mourning their “sister in the struggle” Frieda Ndatipo.

Swapo officials working at the headquarters were trapped inside the premises for over two hours.

The ‘struggle kids’ maintained that their protests are not a new development and that they have held protests outside the Swapo offices three times every week since the beginning of this month.

Some, however, speculate that the electoral college scheduled for the weekend of 29 -30 August might have spurred the unrest.

Mysterious criminal

Allegations also surfaced that a certain criminal wanted by the police made his way to where the ‘struggle kids’ were holding their peaceful demonstration and opened fire on the police.

The police allegedly know the criminal and they were hot on his trail before they lost him in the crowd of demonstrating ‘struggle kids.’

Unconfirmed reports allege that the criminal fired at the police who in response fired at the ‘struggle kids’ who were fleeing from the scene, instantly killing Frieda Ndatipo.

Attempts to contact NamPol spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi for comment proved unsuccessful by the time the newspaper went to print.

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