Swapo lawmaker Jerry Ekandjo yesterday told parliamentarians he did not go to prison on Robben Island to promote homosexuality in Namibia.
He said this while motivating his motion for members to reject the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that same-sex marriages concluded legally outside the country should be recognised in Namibia.
The National Assembly’s deputy speaker, Loide Kasingo, cautioned Ekandjo against using unparliamentary language.
Rallying members from both sides of the political divide to support his motion, Ekandjo said he would not allow Namibia to be turned into a republic of homosexuals, which he labelled as “a bad omen”.
“We cannot be a republic of homosexuals. These freedoms […] I went to Robben Island at the age of 26 not to promote homosexuality here. People died, and disappeared. If we allow it, the people will push us all out.
“Never ever! I don’t see any member of this house supporting this, this is inhumane. I see a male dog climbing another dog, or a bull climbing another bull, you will kill it,” he said.
Ekandjo moved for the house to come up with a bill to give effect to the Constitution’s article 81, which allows the parliament to contradict a decision of the Supreme Court.
“I move this motion for this assembly to discuss this unconstitutional judgement of the Supreme Court. In 1989 after the Untag elections when we drafted this Constitution, we debated whether Namibia should allow homosexuality.
“We debated and said no. The founding father said no.
“In this Constitution all the chapters talk of all persons having a right to do this [and that]. But when it comes to marriage, we did not say all persons have the right to marry.
“We said men and women. We deliberately put it there under [article 14], and that can’t be overruled by the arms of the government.
“They must adhere to the supreme law. All judgements passed by the judiciary and parliament should conform to the Constitution.
“Men and women of full age without any limitation due to race, colour, nationality, religion, creed, or social or economic status shall have the right to marry and find a family.
“They must be entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and its dissolution. If we talk about marriage, then we talk about women. We don’t talk about men and men,” he said.
Ekandjo said if other countries allow people to smoke marijuana, that does not provide precedence for Namibia to allow the same when such people come to Namibia.
“We are not a colony of South Africa. What happens in South Africa is their own problem. All members in this house [and] in both houses of parliament did not vote for them to promote homosexuality in Namibia, but for bread-and-butter issues.
“We must allow homosexuality so that the lesbians and gays must come and play with their anuses and vaginas here,” he said.
Swapo’s Nathangue Ithete and Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters’ Epaphras Mukwiilongo proposed for the debate to be postponed to next week Tuesday.
Opposition members loudly agreed with Ekandjo while he was speaking.
LAW SOCIETY RESPONDS
Meanwhile, The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) has blasted those attacking the Supreme Court and its judges, saying there are no acceptable excuses for doing so.
“There can be no justification for the attacks on the judiciary – especially where such attacks interfere with the independence of the judiciary,” the society’s chairperson, Clive Kavendji, said in an advertorial statement in the media yesterday.
Kavendji made it clear that aggression towards the judiciary has “serious ramifications” for the rule of law and the administration of justice.
Despite admitting that the judges are accountable for their decisions and can be criticised, the chairperson said it should be done in a respectful and constructive manner.
“When criticism of a judge’s rulings crosses the line into personal attacks or intimidation public respect for our system of justice is undermined, creating risk to our constitutional bedrock and the preservation of liberty,” he said.
Kavendji said the judiciary is not immune against public concern, but should not denigrate the integrity of individual judges.
The #ShutItAllDown movement is steadfast that their executive director, Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe, was wrongfully arrested on Friday.
Nthengwe and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community members were arrested after they were seen waving gay pride flags at a demonstration in Windhoek where people were protesting against the Supreme Court judgement.
“The actions taken against our Nthengwe and others are clear violations of their fundamental human rights and are completely unacceptable,” the community said.