04 Jun 2013 09:10
GOBABIS, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - The incident in which Gobabis entrepreneur Levi Katire was brutally attacked on Saturday in what is believed to be a racially-motivated onslaught, has attracted wide condemnation from various sectors of society.
The Namibian Police Commander in the Omaheke Region, Commissioner Josephat Abel was amongst those who condemned the incident, saying the police will do all in its power to rid the region of any form of racial discrimination.
Abel told Nampa on Tuesday that the police will not tolerate racism in an independent country, and called on those with such mindsets to change their behaviour or risk facing the ?long arm of the law?.
?We are in an independent country. Namibia is free for all, despite your racial origin or colour of your skin. As such, we cannot have no-go-zones in an independent country. It is just unheard of,? he stressed.
Two cases have since been opened with the police with regards to the incident: one of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and another of racism.
One suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident, and was expected to make his initial court appearance on Tuesday afternoon.
Gobabis? first citizen, mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt also lashed out at the attack, calling it ?barbaric? and not in line with the spirit of independence.
As chairperson of the Gobabis Town Council, Bezuidenhoudt said the council was seriously considering suspending the operating licence of the bar at which the brawl took place, if the claims of racism are found to be true.
?We are not taking this issue lightly. We will pursue it until we have exhausted all avenues. Racism is bad, and cannot be allowed to continue at all cost,? she told this agency.
Meanwhile, a mass march is being organised to show solidarity with Katire and his family.
This reporter was informed that although logistics are yet to be formalised, the march is expected to take place on Wednesday when a petition is likely to be handed over to the local magistrate.
The news of the attack spread like wildfire and has set social networks abuzz, with many calling for immediate remedial action into the happenings in Gobabis to avoid the further injury of innocent Namibians.