N$1.4 million for shorn prison dreadlocks

02 June 2020 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected]

A convicted inmate serving 35-years behind bars for the killing of his girlfriend eight years ago, is suing prison authorities for N$1.4 million for allegedly forcibly shearing of his dreadlocks.
Petrus Fridel Frederik claims his rights were violated in February 2018 when prison guards allegedly held him down and cut off his dreadlocks, which he had acquired as part of his Rastafarian faith while behind bars.
He claims that he suffered severe emotional stress as a result of the forced removal of his dreadlocks.
“It took Frederik many years to grow his dreadlocks and to care for them. Cutting his dreadlocks changed his identity as a Rastafarian and it will take a very long time for his hair to grow back to the same level,” court papers submitted to the Windhoek High Court state.
He is asking the court to award him N$1 million in damages for the cutting of his hair without his consent and a further N$400 000 for the emotional distress it caused.
Frederik is serving a 35-year sentence after he admitted to the murder of his girlfriend in Rosh Pinah in 2012. He allegedly stabbed her at least 27 times.
His lawsuit is based on a claim that in early 2018 while incarcerated at the Hardap Correctional Facility he was taken to a room by prison guards and told that dreadlocks, or long hair, are not allowed according to regulations.
He claims he was grabbed and his arms twisted to hold him still and that a prison guard then took out a pair of scissors and cut off half his dreadlocks.
Frederik’s lawsuit names the safety and security ministry, the commissioner-general of the Namibian correctional services, the chief of the Hardap prison and three prison guards he says were involved in the incident. All are defending the matter.
An attempt to mediate the matter failed last year.

Different sides
Witness statements submitted to the court by the prison guards accuse Frederik of stirring unrest at the Hardap correctional facility by having started an illegal gang in prison, named Vocos Logos.
As part of the gang’s identifiers, the prison guards’ court statements allege that Frederik “persuaded other inmates to dread their hair as a symbol of being part of the gang.”
Another gang symbol, according to witness statements handed to court, state that the gang “engaged in smoking tobacco as part of their manifesto”.
The witnesses furthermore underlined that long hair is not permitted in prison as a matter of hygiene and as per section 30 of the Namibian Correctional Services Act.
The guards also wrote that Frederik had short hair when he was first sentenced in 2015. According to the prison officials, on the day in question a report was received that some inmates were smoking contraband tobacco.
The guards investigated and say that Frederik was uncooperative.
They claim that while examining the prisoner’s fingertips for tobacco stains, he “refused to show his fingertips. He proceeded to boast to the other inmates he was an important person and how he does not want to deal with low-ranking officers”, Warrant correctional services officer Jackson Nghitoteiwa writes in his witness statement.
He claims that he and colleagues escorted Frederik out of the cell and reminded him that long hair was not allowed.
He and another colleague say Frederik was defiant and he was given an ultimatum: Either he cuts his own hair or we assist him.” He refused.
The guards then proceeded to cut his hair “without any resistance from him”. When they were halfway through, Frederik “calmly stated that he would complete the haircut himself. He walked back to his sectional cell without incident,” Jackson’s statement reads.
His colleague, warrant officer Gideon Kauko Nambahu’s statement, reflects the same wording.
Lawyer Titus Mbaeva of Mbaeva & Associates is acting on behalf of Frederik while government is being assisted by Monique Meyer of the Office of the Government Attorney.
Last week High Court judge Nate Ndauendapo postponed the case to 16 June for further submissions, after the hearing began last week.

Similar News

 

Police warn of car scammers

4 weeks ago - 28 September 2020 | Crime

NamPol has again warned members of the public about a syndicated seen on social media advertising second-hand vehicles for between N$15 000 and N$20 000...

Thieves using ‘Nampol’ facemasks

1 month - 09 September 2020 | Crime

The police has warned members of the public to be wary of unscrupulous individuals impersonating police officers by wearing face masks imprinted with police logosAccording...

No StartUp ‘facilitation’ fees - MITSMED

1 month - 08 September 2020 | Crime

The ministry of industrialisation and trade (MITSMED) has warned that unscrupulous individuals are soliciting funds from the public in an illicit manner to facilitate the...

Con man sues government for N$5 million

1 month - 08 September 2020 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] Hardap prison inmate and South African citizen convicted on multiple charges of fraud has filed a N$5 million lawsuit against various authorities...

Immunity dismissed by Supreme Court

2 months ago - 20 August 2020 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] police officer who was granted immunity last year from further prosecution on corruption and blackmail charges dating back nine years, saw that...

Dozen pyramid schemes uncovered

2 months ago - 18 August 2020 | Crime

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) conducted investigations into 12 suspected illegal financial pyramid schemes uncovered in the country in 2019 and 2020.According to deputy director...

She was a warrior

2 months ago - 11 August 2020 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] years after unarmed protestor Frieda Ndatipo was killed during a clash between struggle kids and the police at the Swapo headquarters in...

Namibia remains tough on human trafficking

2 months ago - 03 August 2020 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] has joined the global community calling on countries to remain vigilant and pro-active as the world health crisis ravages economies and exposes...

Fraudsters still at it

2 months ago - 28 July 2020 | Crime

The reduction in physical shopping, together with social distancing and a heightened awareness of personal safety, have made online shopping our go-to place for retail...

Securing a poaching scene – the right way

3 months ago - 22 July 2020 | Crime

What should a farmer, lodge manager, landowner or a farm worker do when he stumbles across a poaching scene?Participants of the Animal Crime Scene and...

Latest News

Table Tennis rules the roost

1 day - 25 October 2020 | Sports

After seven months of no competition, the Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA hosted the annual Windhoek Open at the Wanderers Sports Club last weekend.Due to...

Making plans to mitigate disasters

1 day - 25 October 2020 | Events

The Namibia Red Cross joined government and the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for Disaster Reduction, encouraging citizens and government to...

N$40 million for NWR

1 day - 25 October 2020 | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) received at N$40 million grant from government in the FY2020/21 Mid-Year Budget Review and Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. The last time...

NIIHA trails this weekend

4 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Sports

The Namibia Inline Hockey Association (NIIHA) hosts national time trials for junior and senior men and women at the show grounds in Windhoek from 23...

Cheaper to ‘tjaila’

4 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Transport

Taxi fares will decrease to the normal rate effective from midnight tonight, thanks to the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.Speaking at the Presidential Covid-19 public...

Keeping cyclists’ wheels rolling

4 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Sports

The RMB Elite Cycling team received cycling gear as part of an overall sponsorship of N$230 000. RMB Namibia has been part of the after-school...

Repo rate remains unchanged

5 days ago - 21 October 2020 | Economics

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) announced that the repo rate would remain unchanged at 3.75%, governor Johannes !Gawaxab said at the Monetary Policy Announcement in...

International recognition for Namibia's EIF

5 days ago - 21 October 2020 | International

The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) received a certificate of merit at the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards – an honour bestowed on financial institutions...

GIPF invests in home-grown asset...

5 days ago - 21 October 2020 | Economics

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced the introduction of its incubation assets management programme, which commenced in 2019.The programme aims to address the need...

Load More