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Former deputy minister defends slapping bar lady

Written by on June 17, 2024

Following a recent video circulating of him slapping a female bartender at Tsumeb, former deputy minister of information Engel Nawatiseb, who is also a former mayor of Tsumeb, has defended himself, saying he slapped the unidentified woman because she insulted him.

Nawatiseb says he has reported the shebeen for noise pollution on numerous occasions

The video was met with criticism and condemned by the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).

Nawatiseb, reacting to the online criticism, says the fact that he does not hold individuals accountable for their “slanderous remarks about my personality should not be considered as a sign of weakness but rather a token of peaceful coexistence.”
He says he is unfazed by the attacks against a “trendsetter” like himself.

“PDM can be described as a total reject in Tsumeb and hardly attracts 30 people to a star rally being addressed by its party president. So, we don’t listen to corpses who have the audacity to write a whole book (presser) about a case of ‘common assault’,” Nawatiseb says.


The PDM has condemned Nawatiseb’s approach, calling it a gross abuse of power and an affront to the dignity and humanity of women working in bars.

PDM information secretary Hidipo Hamata says it is shameful for a person who once held public office to resort to physical violence instead of seeking appropriate legal recourse.

Hidipo Hamata

Hamata says if Nawatiseb felt he was wronged, the proper and lawful course of action would have been to report the matter to the police.

“Taking the law into his own hands not only undermines our justice system but also sets a dangerous precedent that violence is an acceptable means to resolve disputes,” Hamata says.

He says no woman should ever face humiliation or violence.

Hamata says the incident is not an isolated one and reflects a broader societal issue where women in certain occupations are stigmatised and mistreated.

He says there is a need to work collectively to change this narrative and ensure that all women, regardless of their employment, are treated with respect and dignity.

The party is calling on law enforcement to act on the assault.

Political analyst Erica Thomas has expressed disappointment in the approach taken by Nawatiseb.

“As a leader, one must always be respectful and have integrity on a daily basis to each and everyone you encounter. What he has done is the contrary,” Thomas says.

She says with the amount of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, Nawatiseb should know better.

“It is disappointing to have someone who cannot control themselves, knowing we have high cases of GBV. It is important to control yourself,” she says.

Nawatiseb resigned from Swapo to join the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) in January, but again resigned from LPM to rejoin Swapo.

The Namibian reported in March that Nawatiseb expressed unwavering support for Swapo presidential candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

The post Former deputy minister defends slapping bar lady appeared first on The Namibian.

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