Four arrested in Otjomuise murder… as fear grips LGBTQ+ community

Home National Four arrested in Otjomuise murder… as fear grips LGBTQ+ community
Four arrested in Otjomuise murder… as fear grips LGBTQ+ community

The queer community and friends of Christoph Frederick, whose mutilated body was discovered last Thursday in Otjomuise’s 7de Laan, fear for their lives. 

“When Jerry Ekandjo, with the unanimous vote, introduced the anti-gay bill, we have been living in the shadows of that because of the uncertainty.All these unsafety and horrific incidents of queer matters have been perpetrated and spearheaded by the Jerry Ekandjo bill. So, we are sitting with the question, who is next?” said Ziggy Porsche #Eixas, a friend and LGBTQ+ member.

She said crime against the queer community is on the rise in Namibia, and it is a worrisome trend.

Ekandjo’s private member’s bills, passed by both the National Assembly and National Council, aim to define the term “spouse” and amend the Marriage Act of 1961 to block the recognition of same-sex marriage in Namibia.

“Like my friend said, who is next? Who is going to be killed in this hate crime? We are brothers and sisters. We come from families. As much as we are queer, we are human beings and we are Namibians. There is nothing that is going to change that. Some of us are breadwinners. What will happen to my family if I am next?” said Memory Hochobes, a programme officer at the Trans Androgynous Movement of Namibia (TIAMO).

Hochobes, along with members of the community, were in attendance yesterday at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court, where two 18-year-olds, Naundomba Elias Namwandi and Beukes Mervin Lele, made their first court appearance on charges of murder, obstruction of justice and violating a corpse.

The two are charged in connection with the murder of Fredericks (30), whose body was discovered with 32 stab wounds and his private parts cut off in Windhoek’s informal settlement of Otjomuise’s 7de Laan on Thursday.

Fredericks, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, who identified as a woman, went missing on Wednesday morning after leaving home with friends.

According to the police report, his body was discovered by a passerby on a riverbed next to the Chairman Mao Zendong High School in Otjomuise.

Yesterday, Magistrate Surita Savage denied the accused bail, citing that police investigations are still ongoing, the offences are of a serious nature and it would not be in the public’s interest to grant them bail.

She then remanded them in police custody and postponed the matter to July 31 for further investigations and for the accused to apply for legal aid.

Meanwhile, two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the same crime and will be making their first court appearance today.

Father’s pain 

Frederick’s father Paulus Dragonder (65) was also in attendance at court yesterday.

Dragonder is still shocked by how his only son died.

“It is a shock. I did not expect my son to die this way. I did not imagine my son dying this way,” the distraught father said, with pain vivid in his voice and body language.

Dragonder, a pastor, said despite the tragic loss of his only son, he would leave it up to God to judge those responsible for his death.

He expressed gratitude to the LGBTQ+ community for their assistance and to the police for their swift response in arresting those suspected of committing the heinous murder.

However, as a pensioner, he does not know how he will bury his son, he said.




Charged… Murder accused Naundomba Elias Namwandi and Beukes Mervin Lele.

Photos: Maria Sheya