The plight of the LGBT community in has been pronounced Namibia with several individuals being discriminated, beaten and even arrested. More often than not, their human rights are abused by the community including the police who have a mandate to serve and protect all individuals. Feeling like social outcasts, some LGBTI persons have been pushed to extremities including considering suicide as an escape to the pressures of their often constricted world that is characterized by name-calling and insult. A quick survey of Namibia’s law reveals a conflicted position that is not clear on the legality of homosexuality. However in 2001, the Supreme Court in a landmark decision ruled that the Constitution does not criminalize homosexuality. Regardless of this critical ruling, the Namibian society remains a highly homophobic country whose political leaders have often issued instructions to arrest and deport homosexuals. The study therefore examines the history, tolerance and experiences of the LGBTI community in order to highlight the need to secure human rights for all. The idea of pursuing a study on the attitudes of police officers towards homosexuals finds its roots in the Wendelinus Hamutenya spectacle, a Namibian homosexual man who suffered violent homophobic attacks at his place of residence in Katutura. Mr Hamutenya had just returned from South Africa where he had been crowned the winner of Mr Gay Namibia, when a mob of men swooped on him. The gay man sought to press charges against his assailants and proceeded to the Wanaheda Police Station in Katutura where he opened up two complaints. This case comprised of assault with the intent to do grievously bodily harm, threats to murder, and crimen injuria. The researcher was overwhelmed with emotion upon learning that Mr Gay’s dockets had vanished from the police station and the police officers could not do anything as far as his cases were concerned.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2018.