SPYL livid over sodomy law reforms

Andrew Kathindi

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has hit out at plans by Government to undo a law that has made sodomy in the country illegal, calling the practice satanic.

“We would like to express our dissatisfactions on the prioritising of motions / bills in the National Assembly (Parliament). SPYL is sickened by the discussion of homosexual(sic) in the August house which supersedes as matters of urgency,” Ephraim Nekongo, SPYL Secretary said. Nekongo’s comments come as Justice Minister, Yvonne Dausab, on Monday 17 May received a submission from the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), which included a report on the Abolishment of the Common Law Offences of Sodomy and Unnatural Sexual Offences.

Dausab this week told Windhoek Observer that she plans to submit the draft to Cabinet this week before going through the normal law-making procedures and then eventually to Parliament, possibly before the end of the year. “Hence, we discourage the August House on discussion issues of less value and turn the focus and attention to the bread-and-butter issues. Homosexuality is satanic yet demonic practices and must never be legalised in Namibia,” Nekongo stated.

Nekongo’s comments come as the Namibian government has also been inundated with calls to remove laws deemed archaic, such as the one providing for the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), also known as the Red Line, which prevents beef from northern Namibia passing south, and calls to overturn abortion laws which led hundreds to protest last year.

Sodomy is currently listed as an illegal act according to Namibian laws. Furthermore, according to the Criminal Procedure Act 25 of 2004, sodomy is listed as one of the offences a peace officer may without warrant arrest any person who commits it.

The report heading to Cabinet next week is part of two reports, which are the second phase to a project “which was started in 2018, through research and reviews on Namibian laws, identified all outdated/archaic laws, that need to be done away with, amended or repealed. This project identified 31 pieces of legislations which are deemed obsolete in the current Republic of Namibia.”

The SPYL condemnation of the proposed law change comes as over nine cases involving LGBTQ matters have been brought before the High Court since the start of the year according to media reports.

The High Court has scheduled 20 January 2022 as the date of delivery on a judgement pertaining to the country’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages.

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