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By Selma Ikela & Joseph Sheefeni:

Fifty-six-year-old former inmate Paulus Shimweefeleni, popularly known as Ninja, says he is ‘a true man’ following his rehabilitation while serving life imprisonment sentenced at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.  He spent time for killing a taxi driver, a crime that happened in the 1990s. Shimweefeleni was released on full parole on Wednesday after serving 26 years for robbery and murder.

With Windhoek Correctional facility officers applauding, the once feared Rooi oog gang member, Shimweefeleni, walks out of the facility as a free man just before lunch.   

He says is happy being released and looks forward to reuniting with his family after a lengthy incarceration. The big-built Shimweefeleni, dressed in a white Polo T-shirt, black trousers, and Nike sneakers, says his mindset has changed as a result of the rehabilitation and sees himself as a new man.   Back then, Shimweefeleni felt that he was untouchable, but was heading in the wrong direction instead.

He said he would not return to his criminal ways or associate with criminals. “I thank the brothers and sisters here (correctional facility officers) they have changed my mindset so much. I am a new man.

Do not get afraid of me in the streets if you see me, If I ask you water, please give me and forgive me for what I have done in the past,” stated Shimweefeleni. Shimweefeleni, who walked out carrying a toolbox thanks to the skills he obtained as a plumber, looks forward to resuming business.

‘As you can see the toolbox I have here, is plumbing material inside, even now if you have a problem with water, call me,” adding that his company was registered more than nine years ago. The once-feared Shimweefeleni pleaded for forgiveness for his crime and stated that he would let the public judge whether or not he had changed.

“My actions when I am outside there should let the public know of who I have become. It does not matter what I say now, and you don’t see me in action”. On forgiveness Shimweefeleni said: There might be kids of the deceased, now they are grown….for me, I just want them to forgive me for what I have done, even the sentence I have served is nothing compared to what I have done”.

Shimweefeleni intends to conduct motivational talks at schools to discourage learners from following in his footsteps. “ I want them to know crime does not pay, the only pay you get in crime, is what I spent here. Thank you to the correctional facility, I am a true man now”.

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I am a new man now, says Ninja