WALVIS BAY – The rape culture in Namibia is showing no signs of abating, even at a time when the world is observing 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
In the Erongo region, sexual violence continues to be a thorn in the flesh, with at least two minor girls allegedly subjected to continuous sexual abuse by men who were supposed to protect them.
At the weekend, a 67-year-old grandfather was arrested for allegedly raping his 13-year-old granddaughter, while a 44-year-old father is also accused of raping his biological daughter (5) on different occasions this year.
The arrests were confirmed by Erongo police crime investigations coordinator Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu.
“The 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped between March and November this year in Kuisebmond. Both the victim and the suspect were living at the same house. The grandfather was arrested on Friday and is expected to appear in court on Monday,” Iikuyu said.
He added that the five-year-old was raped during January and November this year at Ocean View, Swakopmund, by her biological father.
“The suspect allegedly had sexual acts with his daughter under coercive circumstances over the aforesaid period. He will make his first court appearance on Monday in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court,” Iikuyu indicated.
Meanwhile, at least 248 women, children and men were raped since January 2017 until November 2020. About 48 of those cases were reported this year between January and November in the region.
These statistics were revealed during the 16 Days of Activism campaign that was held at Walvis Bay on Saturday.
Breaking down the statistics, Chief Inspector Selma Shangula said in 2017 Erongo, reported 62 rape cases and 224 GBV cases.
These include murder and assault cases.
In 2018, she said 70 rape cases were reported and 327 GBV cases – while last year, 68 rape cases and 394 GBV cases were reported.
“Despite this year being a difficult year with Covid-19 and Walvis Bay being on continuous lockdown, we reported a staggering 48 rape cases and 312 GBV cases,” she said.
The statistics include the high-profile murder case of Shannon Wasserfall, whose matter was initially treated as that of a missing person until her the discovery of her remains in a shallow grave just outside Walvis Bay.
Recently, Jennefer Daniels’ partially naked body was found at the beach between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
According to Shangula, the statistics only reveals the reported cases and that there are so many unreported events whereby the victims are suffering in silence, while the perpetrators walk freely.
However, she explained it is not easy dealing with such cases, as not all reported cases go to court or result in a successful conviction.
“There must be full elements for a person to be arrested. We cannot just arrest a person because you have laid a charge. It has to go through investigation, so that we can get evidence for a successful conviction,” she said.