The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has not only condemned the gruesome video of the late Fred Savage being circulated on social media, but also called for a countrywide ban of the pit bull terrier breed.
Hanse-Himarwa yesterday visited the bereaved family of the late Savage, 13, who was mauled to death on Saturday by two pit bulls in Otjomuise’s Extension 4.
The visibly shaken minister called on government to introduce a law that bans vicious pets such as pit bulls that are known for their ferocity and as being a grave danger to society.
“Such pets (pit bulls) cannot be prosecuted like humans, thus we do not need them in our society. It is not the first time these pit bulls attacked people. It could be a child, or even an adult. I think it’s about time we ban any Namibian from keeping these types of dogs as pets,” Hanse-Himarwa reacted.
However, Cillie Auala the City Police spokesperson said there is no law that bans the domestication of any pet. She added that the city council was instead busy amending regulations on how to domesticate pets and would put measures in place that will ban the domestication of some pets seen as vicious, as it is done in other countries.
Hanse-Himarwa personally donated N$2 000 for the funeral costs.
“It was so touchy and disheartening when I heard of the tragedy and I had to put myself in the shoes of the deceased’s mother considering that I also have a 13-year old boy. This could have happened to me or anyone. It is so unfortunate that our loved ones are not safe on the streets due to a number of threats out there. Therefore we as a nation should come together and ensure safety for everyone at any time,” she said.
Hanse-Himarwa joined the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana, who cautioned against the circulation of the video of the 13-year-old boy being mauled by the two pit bulls.
“The circulation of such video is not only unethical in the public eye, but is also unlawful as it is traumatising, especially to the family members of the late Fred. This is not the first time videos of this nature are circulated on social media as the ministry has noted in the past that videos of violent, sexual and hateful nature have been circulated as well,” Ua-Ndjarakana noted. He warned that anyone found in possession of and circulating such video clips would be dealt with by the law.
About the video, Hanse-Himarwa said: “Our people are losing their moral values. It is totally inhumane and insensitive. Instead of helping you focus on filming.”
However, she said such a video could have been taken as evidence, but was not supposed to be posted without the consent of the family.
She added that the distribution of such videos on social networks has become a norm for Namibians as they also post videos of a pornographic nature and others with vulgar content.
“I call upon these people that do so to refrain from doing so, it is totally unacceptable as such things actually add more pain to the aggrieved,” she said.
Upon her arrival at the bereaved family she paged through the late Fred’s schoolbooks and was met by positive compliments from his teachers.
“I looked through the little boy’s books. I could see it’s a child who stayed in school every day. I saw a proud and committed child who loved his work. As a teacher myself, when someone puts pride in his handwriting, it means it is someone who puts pride in everything he does. You could see the teachers’ comments that every activity was given positive and excellent work. You could see it was a child to teach with pleasure. I could see it was a child for the future, seeing from his books,” said the education minister.