GOBABIS – Drimiopsis community members marched to the regional police headquarters in Gobabis yesterday where they handed over a petition concerning the violence and abuse against San women and girls in their community.
This follows the gruesome death of Anna Geinamses who was kidnapped, raped, murdered and her body dumped into a manhole on 1 August this year.
Getting their voices heard while at the same time adhering to Covid-19 regulations, a small group delivered the petition on behalf of the 380 community members that signed it, where they condemned all violence perpetrated against San women and girls.
They said all forms of violence, rape and child marriage violate their human rights to dignity and freedom from torture and degrading treatment.
They added that the San people’s rights to be free from violence are protected by a number of instruments including the Namibian constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, amongst others.
In their petition, the community is demanding that bail not be given to accused murderers and rapists, as such culprits have a tendency of committing the same crimes again while out on bail.
They are further demanding a police station at their settlement since the lack of police presence is also resulting in the increase in violence.
They have asked for a regular police patrol in the community, or at least the empowerment of their community police. They said waiting for a police response from Gobabis when crimes are committed causes delays in service delivery.
The community further demands the closure of all illegal bars and shebeens trading without liquor licenses, saying they have mushroomed through the entire settlement, and that they are the hotspots for violence against women.
In addition, these establishments are contravening the Covid-19 regulations, as social distancing is not being practised, selling of alcohol is not on a takeaway basis and they are not adhering to operating times of selling alcohol as stated in the stage three regulations including the curfew hours.
In addition, the community is demanding proper flushing toilets in their settlement, as the lack thereof has forced the use of bushes when nature calls, which in turn is exposing women and girls to violent acts such as rape.
Accepting the petition on behalf of the police regional commander, Commissioner Christopher Kalimbula promised to channel it to the rightful destination with the hope that the necessary attention will be given to the issues highlighted in the