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Sioka condemns Gobabis child abuse incident

2023-08-30  Festus Hamalwa

Sioka condemns Gobabis child abuse incident

ONGWEDIVA – Social welfare minister Doreen Sioka has unequivocally condemned the appalling child abuse incident that took place in Gobabis in the Omaheke region last month. 

She expressed her profound dismay that has been deeply shaken by the recent incident of child abuse. The incident has not only sparked widespread condemnation but also ignited considerable public concern.

A video depicting the distressing incident has circulated widely, portraying a distressing act of violence against a five-year-old girl. 

The perpetrators of this heinous act were revealed to be her cousins, aged six, eight and 12. The incident occurred within the confines of her aunt and uncle’s residence.

Sioka has made it clear that such acts of cruelty and abuse against children are utterly unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 

She called for a thorough investigation into the matter, ensuring that justice is served and appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the well-being and security of all children in Namibia.

The victim is in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

Many children have become victims of abuse by their relatives, while some have been sexually abused.

The minister stated that this disturbing event serves as a stark reminder of the urgency to prevent child abuse.

“This barbaric act is prohibited by the Child Care and Protection Act of 2015 (Act No. 3 of 2015). Although under the Namibian law, a child under the age of seven cannot be held liable for a criminal offence, they can be held liable if the case can be proven beyond reasonable doubt,” she stressed.

She added that the developmental stages and other factors are also considered in this regard.

“The ministry strongly condemns this act of violence and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her relatives. The ministry is, however, mindful of the fact that while the affected parties, including the aunt, victim and perpetrators, are receiving psychosocial support, it is crucial to bear in mind that the perpetrators are also minors, underscoring the need to assist them in comprehending the consequences of their actions, which they may not have fully understood when they committed the crime,” she further stressed.

The minister has warned the public to refrain from committing similar acts of this nature, as it might lead to serious consciences for the perpetrators.

“If you suspect abuse, report it to the ChildLine helpline at 106, the Namibian Police at 10111 or any Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare’s office near you,” she said.

Meanwhile, crime investigator of the Namibian Police in the Omaheke region Chris Kalimbula said the police are investigating this matter; however, no case was opened.

2023-08-30  Festus Hamalwa

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