Life is cheap over here

03 January 2019 | Columns

We live in a country where life is fickle. People are killed for no reason at all – as though there were ever enough reason to kill someone – but life in Namibia, has become cheap.

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg rightly summed it up when he sentenced convicted rapist and killer Eldrin Goliath in December.

“But again, why must anyone feel unsafe on the streets at any time of the day? Have we become a nation who must align our lifestyles and freedoms to cater for criminals who roam the streets like predators waiting for their prey?”

Goliath was a tender 20 years of age when he raped and strangled 16-year-old Camilla Steyn at Rehoboth in 2016.

Criticism had been levelled at the girl for being out late, and alone at night.

These days, it is unthinkable and it has become such a norm that we barely think of it.

We have become immune to the torrid headlines emerging from court stories or police reports. Eight rapes over the week from Christmas to the New Year.

And those are the rapes reported.

Then again, robbers are hitting victims in broad daylight. It is no longer safe to sit on a beach, or walk on a pavement talking on your cell phone.

Life has indeed become cheap in Namibia.

We understand that for those who have violence as an integral part of their lives, almost from birth, and those who know not where their next meal, or violent attack comes from, these are daily elements of what they would deem a regular life.

So maybe the solution is the upliftment of our people.

Maybe if a man has a job, some dignity, a decent home with a flush toilet to return to, a secure tomorrow, children in a decent school which he can afford and a whole and healthy family unit, life would be a lot more valuable.

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