Tuesday 18 May 2021
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Police Forensic Lab building in limbo

The construction of a Forensic Laboratory needs to be completed to assist the police is combating crime efficiently. Namibia Police spokeperson Edwin Kanguatjivi shared concerns on the slow progress of the building which started last year.


The construction of the building that started last year will cost an amount of N$281 664 million. The Police spokesperson when asked this week was oblivious of the status of the construction, or about when the much-needed facility will become operational.


Forensic evidence continues to haunt the Namibian Police evidence gathered from crime scenes continues to be either insufficient or unavailable at all. The country has recorded various cases which remain unresolved.
Dawid Bezuidenhout High School’s pupil Magdalena Stoffels’ body was found nine years ago, with her throat slit but still alive in a riverbed near her school at the end of July 2010. She died shortly after being found. The perpetrator is still at large.
Stoffels was a pupil when she was brutally raped and murdered in a riverbed. No convincing evidence has yet been brought forward to apprehend the criminal.
Other brutal murders that remain unresolved include that of 36-year-old Sanna //Garoes in June 2005. Her torso that was dissected into two was found in a rubbish bin at a lay by next to the B1 road.
In the same year, 22-year-old Melanie Janse’s body was discovered lying next to the Western Bypass near the Van Eck Power station. Janse’s body was found unclothed. In both cases, no evidence was brought forth.
The country still yearns for answers into the murder of Juanita Mabula. In October 2005, 21-year old Mabula was found decapitated next to a section of the Western By- pass. Her head was found lying next to the B1 road between Windhoek and Rehoboth.
In December 2005, 18-year old Viola Swartbooi had gone missing from her home was found buried naked in a shallow grave at Re- ho-both.
The issue of unresolved murders has taken center stage over the years and Nampol, this week, conceded that the completion of the lab would improve the quality of investigations and evidence brought forth on criminal cases.
“The lab is important. Forensic evidence is better than any other evidence. The current daily experience is that you will find three people having witnessed the same incident but will give three different statements.
But if we have evidence that is scientifically proven, that be- comes evidence beyond reasonable doubt,” Kanguatjivi said, adding that the new forensic lab will result in the police no longer paying exorbitant monthly rental fees at a building they are currently renting for their forensic services.
“We have a lab at the moment and we have been able to cope but we cannot say all is well with the current situation.
That is why we need that building to be completed. It has to be done soonest.”

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