RAPE incidents involving female security guards in the country continue unabated, with mostly impoverished women making the hard decision between risking being sexually assaulted or murdered while guarding properties or going hungry at night with no income.
The latest incident happened as recent as the start of the weekend when a 43-year-old woman employed at Shilimela Security was raped on Friday, 22 January 2021, at around 21:00 at Otjiwanda Secondary School, Grootfontein, whilst guarding the school alone.
She was only armed with a stick when the unknown suspect severely assaulted and raped her before stealing her mobile phone and making off into the darkness of the night.
Banda Shilimela, the owner of the Shilimela security company, has cast doubt on claims of negligence on the part of his company.
According to Shilimela, there are conflicting versions to the story, as another suggests that she was raped elsewhere and not while on duty.
Asked why the company does not provide sufficient equipment to its security guards to protect themselves while working alone at night, Shilimela said it wasn’t common practice to guard a building with only a stick.
“We give security guards weapons. This incident over the weekend is new to me. There are even conflicting versions of the story,” Shilimela said.
He added that he cannot comment on the subject as it is still under investigation.
Paulus Hango, President of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA), an umbrella body for trade unions in the country, stated that it is high time businesses who risk the safety of their workers lose their operating licenses.
Hango noted that it is not safe to leave a security guard alone on duty at night for safety reasons, and that at least two officers should be disbursed to guard a specific area.
He added that by law, security companies should provide workers with protective clothing and armoury and that labour laws protect the safety of workers.
Hango encouraged employees who feel unsafe at their workplace to contact the ministry of labour, which has health inspectors to ensure employers comply with the law.
He added that if it is found that a company has not been comply with the labour laws, they can have their business licenses revoked.
Security guards in the country continue to face multi-faceted challenges from sexual violence at the workplace to low wages.
In October last year, Informanté also reported that a case of rape was opened after a female security guard was raped by a male colleague in Otjomuise’s Extension 4 location.
The victim was raped around 00:20 by her 32-year-old colleague at her workplace.
It is alleged that the suspect came to the complainant’s workplace and hit her with an iron object on the head and after wrestling with her managed to undress her and raped her.
In another incident in April 2019, a 27-year-old woman employed by Bertha Security Services was raped in the early hours while she was guarding a bar in the Evululuko location at Oshakati.