… as police promise fire against offenders this festive season
By Staff Reporter
City Police’s Fabian Amukwelele has said about 36 000 arrest warrants have been issued on taxi drivers as a result of traffic fines which accumulated over the years.
Amukwelele said this after revelations that, all in all, motorists were owing N$10 million in traffic fines, of which taxi drivers make up a huge chunk of the pie.
Amukwelele has also disclosed that given that this is an estimate figure, the actual amount could be more.
“We have about plus or minus 36 000 warrants.
We are talking about public transportation users which are taxi drivers who transgressed resulting in them having these warrant of arrests.
Why we have such a number of warrant of arrests is because some of the warrant of arrests go back five years and you will find one taxi driver having up to N$12 000 or N$40 000 worth of tickets which all translated into warrant of arrests.
“With regards to the substantial amount of tickets that are owed to city of Windhoek, this has translated into warrant of arrests culminating over a number of years that the offenders have not paid for these warrants of arrest.
Therefore, we have taken a decision that as a way to reduce the number of carnages happening on our roads – we are going to take a serious tour throughout the festive season,” he said.
Amukwelele has also cautioned that this festive season, the police will mount a substantial number of road blocks paying particular focus on those that have warrant of arrests.
“I should say that the amount reflected there is an estimate and the total amount is actually a lot. Over time we have had what we called amnesty.
Now and again we would give amnesty to offenders so that they can deal with the issue of paying their fines.
That’s why they piled up over the years.
However, with the new developments we are simply saying that with the reinforcement of Kalahari Operation and those from correctional services plus our big brother, the Namibian Police we are going to look at, on a serious note, those who are driving and are on warrants of arrest and we are going to arrest them on the spot,” he said.
City Police also upgraded their system and has started to send SMSs to all individuals who are on warrant of arrests to come in with immediate effect.
“So that is the stance we are taking and the general public is advised to come in and see how they can settle those warrant of arrests.
Taking you back to basics, I should mention that the way it works, when you are given a ticket by our officers on the road, that ticket or that fine comes with a court date where you have two options.
Either admission of guilt and then within that expiry date you settle that fine or you have the option of challenging that ticket fine that was given to you.
Maybe it was not given lawfully or you feel you have a just cause to justify why you were not supposed to be given that ticket.
With the court date indicated, you come to court and then you furnish your explanation.
Now failure to do both is what is known as a warrant of arrest because there is a contempt of court,” he said.
There is also a penalty for contempt of court which can be added at the discretion of the margistrate of court.
“You as the owner should be able to account for who is driving your vehicle at all times, if they are having a driver’s license, whether they are obeying the law.
At the end of the day, if someone has a warrant of arrest for example and they run away, automatically we are going to impound the vehicle until you give us that person.
And in this case I am talking particularly talking about the public transportation vehicles where you find someone having a taxi and at the end of the day the owner will face issues if the one who is driving it decides to run away.
That particular public transport can be impounded until the registered owner comes to us so that we can either arrest him or we can give him/her a fine to that effect,” said Amukwelele.