NAMIBIA: Rapists on the rampage

Friday, September 30, 2011
The Namibian
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The prominence of violent crime, especially murder and rape, in Namibia is a matter of grave concern to the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga.

Over the past two weeks, a total of 26 rapes were reported to the Police – an average of almost two per day. Murders also dominated the Namibian crime scene, with 15 people reported to have been killed across the country. Four attempted murders were reported during the last two weeks.

House burglaries shot up by close to 200 per cent during the past two weeks – from four reported cases to 11.Unnatural deaths, which resulted in Police inquests, totalled 22.Furthermore, the number of recorded culpable homicide cases for the past fortnight totalled 11, while 14 people are reported to have committed suicide. A total of 15 house break-ins and seven armed robberies were reported to the Namibian Police during this period.Four cases of stock theft were registered with the Police, one of possession of drugs and one of possession of protected game products.

Upon enquiry, Ndeitunga yesterday afternoon said: “As an Inspector General, I have reason to be concerned. I am very concerned about the numbers that are mentioned.” According to him, “most of the murders are the result of domestic violence, especially violence against women and children”.

Apart from this, alcohol and drug abuse play an aggravating role in violent crime. “We've been urging people to be tolerant and resolve their domestic problems while refraining from violence. But this call has fallen on deaf ears.”Jealousy, he said, plays an equally disturbing role. “Men are like that in their make-up, doing evil things. They become suspicious when their loved ones are just having a discussion with a comrade.”

These damning Police statistics come despite a drop in reported serious crime the past week compared to the previous week.
Eight less murders – nine – were recorded during the week ending yesterday compared to 12 in the previous week, while one attempted murder was reported to the Police in the past week, compared to three in the previous week.
The number of recorded rapes also dropped from 17 during the previous week to nine in the week ending yesterday.
Ten culpable homicide cases were reported in the previous week compared to one during the last week.
Ndeitunga yesterday warned criminals that the Police are applying a zero tolerance policy, especially regarding violent crimes.