Namibia struggle child shot dead

Windhoek - A young woman was shot dead in Namibia on Wednesday in clashes between police and the children of fallen independence fighters, a rare incidence of political violence in the country.

Frieda Ndatipo, 26, was killed during a demonstration calling for jobs in front of headquarters of the country's ruling party, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).

Two police officers were also seriously injured.

Ndatipo was one of the so-called "struggle kids" - a group of young Namibians who are calling on the government to employ them.

Most of the group have parents who died in the guerrilla war for independence from South Africa, which ended in 1990.

Addressing parliament, Prime Minister Hage Geingob described Ndatipo's death as "a highly tragic and regrettable event."

An AFP reporter saw Ndatipo's body lying by the side of the road, as police cordoned off the area.

Wearing pink jeans and a blood-soaked blue tee-shirt she appeared to have suffered a bullet wound to the upper left torso.

Officers claimed that demonstrators had been armed with sticks and stones as well as firearms, but demonstrators denied the accusation.

"They are lying by saying that some of us had guns. They just want to cover their tracks," said one of the group members, who asked not to be named.

Election campaign

Protesters gathered after the shooting, demanding the officer allegedly responsible be charged. Some sang revolutionary songs while others wept in remembrance.

"Just yesterday we celebrated Heroes Day and now you are killing the very same children of the heroes you remembered. What was the use of Heroes Day then?" shouted one of the group members.

Political unrest is unusual in Namibia, but with around 40% youth unemployment, tensions are growing ahead of elections in November.

Prime Minister Geingob said the government has taken note of the protests, but urged them to leave the streets.

Geingob suggested some of the "struggle kids" were being manipulated in a bid to embarrass the government.

"Using strategies such as the one which occurred today for the advancement of election campaigns is not going to make the government acquiesce to demands," he said.

The government has proposed training the group, but stopped short of granting them jobs.

SWAPO, still liked by many thanks to its role in gaining the country independence, is expected to win the November election easily.

But the party has been tainted by a series of corruption scandals and persistently high inequality, prompting the emergence of populist party the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters.

Read more on: swapo namibia southern africa
Helena Kadhila-Amoomo 2014/08/27 09:40:36 PM
Very tragic indeed. I sympathise with the struggle kids in their plight for employment. I however doubt that this demonstration was peaceful. These so-called struggle kids have are known to be violent in their demonstrations not only towards the police, but the public at large. They hurl insults, throw stones, harass passers-by, drink alcohol and then demand for jobs. We have people with tertiary education still struggling to get proper jobs and here we have the struggle kids wanting jobs they don't qualify for. Mind you, at the age of 26, one is no longer a kid. That is an adult and as adults, we all have our struggles. It's a shame that the police had live ammo at the time. I dont think it was neccessary.
Valentine Mo 2014/08/27 10:32:42 PM
It feels like a de'ja'vu, what is happening in Namibia, marikana and also the National Economic Freedom Fighters ( EFF), the ruling party tainted with scandals and corruption.
James Ilukena 2014/08/28 02:12:28 AM
Today it looks like this kids have no role to play after independence if the struggle was still on the same people who think like this today would be saying make more babies so that one we can take our motherland from colonial occupation but today the vey kids people made in the refuge camps are are been killed for asking the same people who made them during that time maybe their parents too were just murdered.
Dennis van Aarde 2014/08/28 04:54:35 AM
Poor police will get the blame again as usual
Nick Horne 2014/08/28 05:01:41 AM
.....demanding jobs......... Now there is a headline I haven't seen before!
Connie Senoritha Mugale 2014/09/01 01:47:56 AM
Well im really heart broken to hear wht happen with ur fellow member of the struggle kids,my questn is how the shooting even took tryng to understand bt i cnt@
Connie Senoritha Mugale 2014/09/01 01:48:20 AM
Well im really heart broken to hear wht happen with ur fellow member of the struggle kids,my questn is how the shooting even took tryng to understand bt i cnt@
Shema Natangwe 2014/09/01 11:03:45 PM
killing struggle kids one by one what ashame to swapo party
gabrielkenya.gabrielkenya 2014/10/21 03:41:59 PM
no no no thtz !!!!!! a bd nws 2 as !!!!???! itatu felstena we kaa!?!