Flipside — By Chris Jacobie
THE horrible and painful death of Hlaisaneni Zhou — a well-known informal trader and artisan — at the hands of a shop owner and four security guards, amongst them the owner of an Otjiwarongo Security Company, is an immense tragedy.
It is made worse by the knowledge that he pleaded for his life with his attackers.
Namibians must now be brave and not display the same sort of cowardice that the youthful Otjiwarongo-five have displayed and turned nearly all Namibians into suspects of cruelty.
Nobody should be allowed to put a brake on the progress to nationhood, because political correctness is abused to blind communities to their basic responsibilities towards fellow human beings. Namibians must collectively and individually dig deep and deal with their demons head on.
To see clearly, Namibians must wipe their tears for now in order to look fearlessly at the challenges of nationhood, inclusiveness and national reconciliation and the way to the final battlefield for dignity and equality.
Namibian courts have proven their reputation to deal with justice effectively and it will do so again. However, there are things like cowardice, cruelty and stupidity that courts cannot deal with, but which Namibians must address.
False unity and false faith is as dangerous as a false democracy, but together it is a deadly cocktail of tribalism and self-righteousness that will enforce the already growing exclusiveness in the Namibian economic, social and political landscape to homelands of false comfort. When groups stand together the nation will fall apart.
What must be on trial is the state of safety and security where companies catch the poor in remote areas to stand guard at properties without a living wage, human dignity and even training. Too often, security guards looks like street kids walking on the western bypass because they cannot afford transport, or stand double shifts, while they are inspected by supervisors in double cabs.
There are no standards and those who have, are too few. Bad guards are the product of bad employers and commanders, and the treatment their guards get, is often the treatment the public gets.
Some security companies operate worse than human traffickers.
No amount of political correctness and misplaced racial sensitivity can hide the fact that two of the suspected murder gang are white Namibians, Jonathan Patrick Myburg and Jandre Janse van Vuuren, together with their fellow black employees, Kefas Kuutondokwa and Hendrik Simapureni who together with an employee of Savemore Etamba Plaza Supermarket, one Robert Katjinamunene, were brought before court. Their unity lies in cruelty, arrogance and stupidity.
White Namibians must feel embarrassed by the lack of young white boys in the national army or police who patrol the streets for the safety of all races. They are nowhere, because they believe that there is no place for white boys in the army or police, but only in security companies that come and go like the mushroom season.
It is wrong, it creates a false impression of a Namibian nation and makes criminals smile, because it is better to operate in a divided society.
The Otjiwarongo murder is just the latest security outrage against innocent Namibians. In 2018, a mother and child were shot by a security guard because of a debt of N$1. There are security guards in jail for rape, murder and attempted murder.
For how long must Namibians wait for leadership to shake this industry to the core?
It is a known secret that criminals and thieves were employed by unscrupulous security guards. What Namibians now also know is that some of the employers of security guards and owners of such companies, as well as some of their employees, are cowards, too.
It is not clear what is worse. The rabid attack on the vendor of Otjiwarongo or the fact that the security did not offer assistance, but decided to flee.
In a Christian country it is extremely offensive to be lectured by the religious and self-appointed moral police that the Lord alone will judge. It hides racism, because Christians would like to know from the moral policeman where the Good Samaritan was when the battered and bruised Zhou pleaded for help and mercy.
It is noteworthy however to see that the bosses indicated to the court that they will have a private lawyer and that their two employees indicated that they will apply for legal aid.
It is disgusting. The two white bosses fled and left their own behind, just to betray them further in court by not appointing an attorney.
All must speak up for the vendor who lost his life to uncontrollable and undisciplined power.
Speak up or be an accomplice.