No Shoot-To-Kill Order

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by NamStay, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. NamStay

    NamStay AH Enthusiast

    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    My approach..
    Shoot then ask!! That's the only way to get out the message.

    no-shoot-to-kill-order2017-01-090 (2).jpg

    As the rhino and elephant poaching epidemic continues to threaten the species' survival in Namibia, police last week emphasised the legal basis for the use of force in combatting suspected criminals, stressing anti-poaching units are operating within the law and have not adopted a shoot-to-kill policy.

    Following the death of three suspected poachers in December in a poaching hotspot in north-eastern Namibia and the accidental shooting of a man mistaken for a poacher near Outjo last week, Nampol issued a statement noting that these actions were in line with the provisions of the country's constitutional and legal frameworks.

    Major-General James Tjivikua said the police at all times operate in line with the constitutional right to life which shall be protected, but also underlined the fact that police often have to make lightning quick decisions in the course of their duties which often take place under pressure and unpredictable circumstances.

    “We are not infallible and therefore bound to make mistakes under the circumstances,” he said.


    Nevertheless, he pointed out that law enforcement officers continue to work within the legal framework of
    the Criminal Procedure Act, often in environments that are not ideal or controlled.

    “The reality on the ground is however far different … no criminal will ever inform you that he is about to go and commit whatever offence. Even in the event that the police detected a person had engaged in criminal conduct, in more cases than not will that person try and evade capture. Such is the reality of the situation.”

    He said law enforcement officers work in “precarious and difficult circumstances and within a blink of an eye, an officer is expected to make a critical decision.”

    He said that according to Act No. 51 of 1977, as amended under section 49, the Criminal Procedure Act makes provision for an arresting officer to use force if a reasonable need arises.

    The section states that an authorised person when making an arrest, where force cannot be avoided, such as when a suspect flees, or resists arrest, may use “such force as may in the circumstances be reasonably necessary to overcome the resistance or to prevent the person concerned from fleeing.”

    If a suspect, who is reasonably suspected of having committed an offence, cannot be arrested or prevented from fleeing by “other means than by killing him, the killing shall be deemed to be justifiable homicide,” the section reads.

    Tjivikua further emphasised that the functions of the Namibian police force as set down by the law, is the protection of life and property, the prevention of crime, the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of the internal security of the country and the investigation of offences.

    As such, the question of how far should law enforcement should go in order to exercise their duties should be asked, Tjivikua said.

    He added that in light of recent events linked to anti-poaching operations, “where a matter is under police investigation, it must be understood that, the due process of the law must be allowed to take its course and whoever has a special interest in the matter, without making an attempt to restrain anyone's freedom of speech, avoid to prejudice the matter.”

    He said ultimately the courts are the only competent authorities entitled to judge on such matters.

    Taking note

    Tjivikua on Friday said Nampol had taken note of the public response to the recent death of three poachers in the Bwabwata National Park following armed skirmishes with local anti-poaching units there in December. Another poacher was critically wounded.

    In addition, the shooting of Johannes Haneb by members of an anti-poaching unit near Outjo last week, a farmworker who was on his way to a cattle post on instructions from his employer, who was allegedly mistaken for one of three suspected rhino poachers in the area, increased public concern around the alleged shoot to kill policy by anti-poaching units since December.

    Tjivikua noted, however, that the escalating incidences of poaching in the Bwabwata National Park combined with the struggle to “deal with the scourge of poaching in the Etosha National Park and other places, including commercial farms is a cause for grave concern.”

    In December, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said anti-poaching units had been reinforced by members of the Namibian Defence Force and the units were given the green light to act in self-defence when attacked by poachers.

    Moreover, Shifeta explained that the anti-poaching units were instructed to take necessary measures aimed at preventing poachers from fleeing a scene of crime, especially when armed with illegal and deadly weapons.

    Source: The Namibian

  2. Clayton

    Clayton AH Fanatic

    Mar 29, 2016
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    SW Louisiana, USA
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, Life 2nd Amm't Fdn - SW LA Rifle & Pistol Club
    One indisputable fact is that a dead poacher will not poach any more.
    CDorroh, Roan, gizmo and 3 others like this.

  3. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

    Sep 6, 2016
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    Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, California
    I notice a major difference between there and here. If somebody is fleeing the scene and they are a suspect, it is considered a justified use of lethal force. That is a major difference compared to here in the USA where you cannot shoot somebody when they are no longer deemed a threat.

    Given the bush nature and how hard it would be to capture people who flee on foot into the brush, that would greatly increase the odds against getting away with poaching. Deterrence alone won't stop poaching though. There are just far too many people who are desperately poor and there is too much money coming in from China to entice these people to do bad things.
    Hank2211 likes this.

  4. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    May 7, 2013
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    South Africa, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    Nor will the shoot at authorities as the now dead poachers did in December.
    Scott Slough and Clayton like this.

  5. Dragan N.

    Dragan N. AH Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
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    That is also just what is written on paper in that country, I don't think its a stretch to imagine that in Namibia there might be a difference between the law in theory and in practice. I doubt that the police there are subject to the same as they are in the US or Canada. So while the law may not allow for a shoot to kill policy, police may employ such a policy. Also there more liberal policy of when the police may shoot a suspect could de-facto lead to a shoot to kill policy.

    Part of the outrage also seems to be caused by the fact that an innocent person was shot:

    "In addition, the shooting of Johannes Haneb by members of an anti-poaching unit near Outjo last week, a farmworker who was on his way to a cattle post on instructions from his employer, who was allegedly mistaken for one of three suspected rhino poachers in the area, increased public concern around the alleged shoot to kill policy by anti-poaching units since December."

    This really highlights why the police being the police, judge, jury and executioner is far from a great thing. Innocent people could get hurt, wrongfully convicted or even killed. Which is the whole reason why a functioning judicial system and extensive individual rights even for accused people is such a great thing, and one many people living in our respective country's seem to take for granted.
    Bsto270, johnnyblues and Scott Slough like this.

  6. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

    May 6, 2014
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    Nacogdoches, TX
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    SCI, Pineywoods SCI, NAHC, TTH
    USA, South Africa (Eastern Cape)
    Well said!

    With the exception of the shooting at the authorities group!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2017

  7. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

    Jun 13, 2013
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    Seaford NY
    USA, ALASKA Canada, New Zealand, Mexico Africa.
    Poachers have made this what it is. Our love our wildlife and have no care whatsoever for poachers. Feeding their families or not poaching is despicable.
    Clayton likes this.

  8. mdwest

    mdwest AH Fanatic

    Mar 20, 2016
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    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    USA, SA, Argentina
    It wasnt all that long ago that shooting a fleeing felon (even a non violent felon) was not only legal.. it was also acceptable.. and somewhat common in some jurisdictions..

    Tennessee vs. Garner changed all of that in 1985 (just 30 years ago)..

    Even when the USSC ruled on TN v Garner, Justice Sandra Day Oconner provided a strong dissenting opinion arguing that the majority of the justices were not giving police officers latitude to do their jobs properly with the ruling..
    gizmo likes this.

  9. Countrylife

    Countrylife AH Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2017
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    USA, New Zealand, Namibia
    What is the impact to outfitters and their clients? Are they at risk?



    Oct 26, 2016
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    Northern CA
    Member of:
    SCI. WSF. DU. NRA.
    CA. OR. WY. NV. TX.
    This country used to hang by the throat until dead to horse and cattle thieves. A strong rope and abrupt stop was all that was needed for this crime. This is when the law was defined by which party has a gun vs who has the shovel. Now in today's society, after a lengthy and extremely expensive trial, we give the horse thieves three meals a day, housing, and college classes for the duration of thier "punishment". If the hores thieves are good, we suspend the "punishment" early and give them housing, food stamps, and money (maybe a phone that should now be turned in) if they can't employ themselves. All the while the convicted criminal seems to have more enforceable rights, than the dead animal or its owner.

    So who is closer to the correct and proper form of discipline, for stealing or killing an animal that is valued at thousands, and up to tens of thousands of dollars? Namibia, or the USA...? The first world country just might be the furthest from the truth. Maybe both are wrong.(?) The Amendments are very clear, but did the founding fathers have today's judicial system in mind when they put quil to paper? In the US, we have a war where the media and The Left have risen against our own peace officers and its law abiding citizens defending themselves against imminent threat to life. It seems Namibias officers are dealing with pains of the same type while attempting to save its highly valued wildlife. So what is worth fighting to save the rights of, the plentiful horse thieve or the invaluable horse? Interesting times indeed.

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