Local Hero Clashes with Poachers: A Dramatic Rescue and Urgent Call for Justice in Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay, Namibia – A violent altercation on a remote farm road between the coastal city of Walvis Bay and the capital, Windhoek, has highlighted growing concerns over wildlife poaching and the enforcement of legal bail conditions in Namibia. Last Thursday, businessman and farmer Steven Louw was severely injured after a chase and confrontation with a group of alleged poachers caught hunting illegally on his land.

Louw, recognized both for his business acumen and farming activities, initiated the chase on the C14 road after witnessing the poachers actively hunting oryxes on his property. Fellow farmer Joachim Cranz recounted that during the pursuit, the suspects began discarding oryx carcasses from their vehicle, signaling their desperate attempt to flee the crime scene.

The pursuit escalated quickly, ending in a dangerous collision that caused Louw’s vehicle to veer off the partially constructed road. The crash left him exposed and vulnerable. Reportedly, the suspects then attacked Louw with rocks after he confronted them post-crash, intensifying their assault with physical violence.

The incident took a turn when a bus carrying tourists stumbled upon the scene. The presence of these witnesses likely deterred the poachers from continuing their attack, leading them to flee. Quick action by the tourists to alert authorities helped police respond promptly to the emergency.

Authorities later captured two suspects hiding in the nearby hills. They were identified and charged with multiple offenses including attempted murder, trespassing, and illegal hunting. Additionally, a hunting rifle found at the scene was traced back to Herman Elveritz, a known poacher who remains at large.

The vehicle implicated in the incident was registered to Walter Hoeseb, who is known in local law enforcement circles by the nickname “Lekkerlag.” His connection to the events deepens the legal intricacies surrounding the case.

A troubling aspect of this confrontation is the revelation that Fanie Uirab, main suspect in the attack, had been out on bail set by the Rehoboth Magistrate’s Court despite facing several poaching charges. Following his release, Uirab was mandated to daily check-ins at the Mondesa Police Station, a condition he blatantly ignored since the day of the attack on Louw.

Local farmers, frustrated by the judicial system’s lenience towards habitual offenders, are raising alarms over the ease with which accused poachers secure bail only to continue their illegal activities. Cranz voiced the community’s distress over the ongoing threats to their livelihood and safety, frustrated by the law’s apparent ineffectiveness at deterring criminal behavior.

Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi from the Public Relations Division of the Namibian Police confirmed the ongoing efforts to address this issue rigorously. With multiple charges levied against the captured suspects, including malicious damage to property and violations of the Nature Conservation Act of 1975, law enforcement is tightening its stance against poaching, aiming to bring all involved culprits to justice. The police are also intensifying their initiatives to prevent future illegal hunting on private and protected lands, striving to secure the local wildlife and uphold the rule of law in the farming communities.