Namibia: Impose Hard Labour On Sex Offenders - Endjala

THE governor of the Omusati region, Erginus Endjala, is concerned about the rising number of sexual, gender-based violence (SGBV) cases in the region and says he wants the government to impose hard labour on sex offenders.

Endjala said in an interview yesterday the government should consider reintroducing hard labour for sex offenders, as most perpetrators do not fear going to jail and imprisonment is no longer a punishment for them due to the luxurious treatment he said they receive while in there.

"Our democracy has become so sweet that even when someone commits a crime, there is absolutely nothing that one can do to them. They go to jail or prison where they get to eat three times a day, healthy food for that matter, and they even start to forget the crimes that they have committed.

"They are treated soft in prison, always indoors and no minimal punishment is imposed on them. We also need to sensitise our communities. We have tried talking and talking but there's no change in behaviour, maybe hard labour will ease the situation," he said.

He said most of the crimes are committed by young people and some of the leading factors are alcohol and drugs abuse and economic hardships.

Endjala also called on the government to empower traditional authorities, as most SGBV cases are committed in rural areas where there are no police stations. However, traditional councillors are not empowered to intervene in the crimes committed, hence most of the offenders are left to walk away freely.

"As a country, we need to look at some of these rights. Someone commits a crime and they are still entitled to their rights, which is very sickening. I think we also need to introduce the national youth service where everyone should pass through.

"People need to enter into agreeable relationships and if a relationship is not working, do not force it, walk out and go where you will be accepted. Some of these relationships are not even known by the parents. People should start introducing their partners to their parents," said Endjala.

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