Tsumeb residents to march today against violent crimes

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By Rochelle Neidel

TSUMEB – Residents of Tsumeb plan to present petitions tomorrow to the police as well as bar owners in the town, asking for stricter measures to curb violence and alcohol abuse.

Bar owners would be petitioned to restrict minors from entering bars and that bar owners honour the conditions of their liquor licences.

The town was recently rocked by the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in a riverbed after she had allegedly gone out clubbing with her friends. Her lifeless body was found on New Year’s day.

No arrest has been made to date. The girl was laid to rest in Tsumeb this past weekend.

The group that is expected to march includes family members of the deceased and members of the community. Spokesperson of the group, Mathilde Swartbooi, said that residents are fed up with bar owners that do not follow laws that restrict the sale of alcohol to minors and that do not prohibit minors from roaming in their bars, especially at very late hours of the evening.

“The police cannot stop crime alone, we must help each other. While children do not listen to their parents why should bar owners be so selfish and allow such unlawful acts,” she said.

Swartbooi further noted that although police are working hard more still needs to be done, as some investigating officers do not really take some crimes seriously and shift blame on families that are affected by the crimes.

“Police must get involved in the day to day lives of communities, the criminals are not far, they are in the communities,” she said.

Within the past two weeks, five rape cases were reported in the Oshikoto region while there were two armed robberies, of which only one was successful.

Oshikoto Deputy Regional Commander, Willem Peter, confirmed the march. However, he noted that there were no further details available around it.

“We are aware of the plans of the group to hold a demonstration, however, at this stage consultations continue,” he said.

He further noted that it was commendable that the group wants to assist the police in crime prevention.

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