Swakopmund appalled over brutal killings

Swakopmund residents are planning a silent march on 26 September at the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court in protest against the murder of three elderly residents who were robbed and brutally killed at the town.

The elderly victims are 78-year-old Roswietha and 82-year-old Siegfried Strzelecki killed by three suspects, one of them the deceased's employee.

Roswietha, who was strangled and had her head slammed several times against the wall, died during the attack while her husband died a week later due to injuries sustained during the attack.

Another elderly person, 78-year-old Manfred Hartman, was allegedly murdered on 17 August by his 24-year-old employee. The suspect was arrested in Outjo the same day but he was shot while trying to escape and he is currently hospitalised in Swakopmund.

Representative of the organisers of the silent protest, Clinton Lang, yesterday told New Era they wanted to lobby the support of all Swakopmund residents for the march that will take place during the second appearance of the Strzelecki murder suspects.

We simply do not want the suspects to be granted bail, but we also want them to receive a fair trial. At the same time, we want to show the justice system our growing concerns over violent crimes at the town and why repeat offenders should rather serve and be rehabilitated. They should also not be eligible for bail and [should] each receive at least three life sentences for the heinous crimes. We also stand in silence for all those who have been murdered in our town and region and hope that justice is served, quickly and swiftly, said Lang.

He explained that the general feeling among the residents, especially the elderly, is that they are not safe at all and live in constant fear.

They feel targeted as they are the ones attacked and killed. The rest of the town though feels that the crimes, especially the robberies and break-ins, were premeditated as the victims knew the assailants who had access to their homes.

Lang also said it is time the communities went back to re-evaluate their values, adding that it is unfortunate that there are still some people who have certain feelings towards certain groups despite the fact that we are all Namibians.

It's not okay to pay someone N$2 000 and sleep in your N$10 million mansion. We need to look at these issues, as they are also causing societal problems. But it does not justify the brutal killing of our people. However, issues such as these can be discussed and resolved to also avoid such consequences, he said.

He also urged all Namibians to re-evaluate themselves and assist each other, and look out for each other for a better society.

I believe in the rehabilitation of our offenders, especially those committing petty crimes as in many cases these are committed to have something to eat and to put a roof over their head. We should also assist our law enforcement agencies such as the police and equip them with relevant skills that can contribute to the successful prosecution of offenders such as murders to avoid wastage of government resources, he said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia