DUI deputy minister released without bail

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

DEPUTY Minister of Safety and Security Daniel Kashikola was released from Wanaheda police station on Saturday night on verbal instructions of a senior police officer without paying bail, it has emerged.

Kashikola was arrested at Ombili informal settlement after his official vehicle collided with a taxi near Ombili Woermann Brock.  He was taken in for driving under the influence of alcohol after he recorded 0.77m/g on the breathalyzer test.

Kashikola also did not appear in court, as reported, and did not pay the bail amount of N$8 000 – a compulsory payment to be made by all drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Asked whether he had paid bail, the deputy minister this week said he was out of the country and did not respond to further text messages sent to him on Tuesday, which asked him to produce proof of payment.

Asked whether Kashikola had paid bail and why he did not appear in court as per the legal requirement, Khomas regional crime investigations coordinator Abner Agas referred this reporter to Khomas regional commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo.

Shikongo has been unreachable since Tuesday.

Wanaheda station commander Chief Inspector James Nandapo also refused to comment, saying “Ask Chief Shikwambi”.

Confidente understands that Kashikola will only appear in court on Friday as soon as he arrives in the country from Egypt.  It however remains unclear why he was released without paying bail in the first place.

Confidente is informed that after his arrest, Kashikola withdrew N$4 000 and was waiting for the next day to withdraw another N$4 000 to pay the bail amount of N$8 000, but while at the police station, a senior police officer – name known to this publication – allegedly called Wanaheda police station and ordered that the deputy minister be released forthwith.

Sources close to the matter told Confidente that under normal legal procedures, a suspect is only released on bail, warning or through a court order.

“This legal process was not followed.  The deputy minister got preferential treatment.  He did not pay the bail money and was released on verbal instructions by senior police officers.  What police officials stated in news reports about the deputy minister having been arrested, paid bail and appeared in court is a lie.  He was never arrested, he was only kept at the station as a formality and then driven home,” the source said.

Speaking to Confidente on Sunday, Kashikola said after the accident, Nampol officers rushed him home because he was nearly beaten up by angry people at the scene of incident.

City Police officers, who administered the breathalyzer test on Kashikola said the minister was “tipsy” as he recorded 0.77m/g alcohol/blood level, while the taxi driver into whose vehicle he crashed, recorded 1.13m/g.

Both 0.77m/g and 1.13m/g are considered over the limit and driving under the influence of alcohol, but it is not yet clear why Kashikola was released without bail while the taxi driver was detained.

According to City Police sources after the incident, they took the taxi driver to Katutura State Hospital for blood tests and later to Katutura police station, where he was detained while officers took Kashikola to Wanaheda police station.

Confidente could not establish this week whether the taxi driver has been discharged from custody yet. A person arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol is subject to a fine of N$8 000 or time in prison.

Kashikola claimed he was nearly assaulted by people in the area after the taxi driver allegedly bumped into his car.

When he spoke to Confidente on Sunday, the deputy minister said at the time of the incident, he was turning into a parking lot near Woermann Brock at Ombili at around 22h00 when the taxi driver bumped into his official vehicle from behind.

He said people at the scene of the accident wanted to beat him up when they recognized him. Police sources contradicted Kashikola’s version though, saying the incident took place at a four-way stop.

“Probably I must not call it an accident. Actually I was parking and someone bumped me from behind. There was a commotion, it is not like an accident, yes the cars touched each other but there is no damage,” Kashikola said on Sunday.

“I was actually going to the parking and then someone from behind bumped me. People around were making a lot of noise like these are Hage (Geingob) people and all these things. Then we called the police. Police came, City Police came and took me home. It’s not true, I was not under the influence of alcohol.”