27 Mar 2014 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAR (NAMPA) About 96 per cent of murder cases in Namibia can be characterised as gender-based, as there is always a bond between the victim and aggressor, the Minister of Justice Uutoni Nujoma says.
He made the statement in the National Assembly (NA) here on Wednesday while introducing his ministrys budget allocation of close to N.dollars 731 million.
The minister said gender-based violence (GBV) has become a worrisome phenomenon in the country, which has recently resulted in some sections of the Namibian people calling upon churches to get more involved.
Namibians, Nujoma said, have also called for laws to be changed so that those who are charged with such crimes are not granted bail, and for courts to impose severe sentences on convicts for GBV cases.
These sentiments are raised because there is a public perception that the courts are not taking GBV seriously, as the accused in these offenses are often given bail in court, or cases are not concluded within a reasonable time, he said.
However, evidence has shown that since 2005, the courts in the majority of cases passed severe sentences ranging from 30 years to 90 years' imprisonment, he pointed out.
Nujoma noted that the Office of the Prosecutor-General has always ensured that cases of violence against women and children are prosecuted by experienced and specialised prosecutors.
In such cases, the prosecution always requests courts for victims to be protected from victimisation by the accused or their lawyers by testifying via video link as well as having support persons next to them as provided for in terms of section 158 A (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act, 51 of 1977, said Nujoma.
He added that the prosecution also has a policy that prosecutors should always oppose bail applications by accused persons.