MINISTER CALLS FOR URGENT PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON ABORTION LAW

NAMIBIA: ABORTION/NBC/15/2/18 SABANews 1

Rundu Magistrate’s Court

WINDHOEK – Health and Social Services Minister BERNHARD HAUFIKU of NAMIBIA says there is an urgent need for public dialogue on the law against abortion.

He says the discussions have become more crucial after the State has recorded SEVEN-THOUSAND-355 cases of illegal abortions last year alone.

NBC News says health professionals detected backdoor abortions in 2017, when women sought medical attention due to heavy bleeding or untreated infections.

It says Minister HAUFIKU has appealed for public dialogue on abortion at a ceremony to hand over contraceptives by the UN Fund for Population Activities in the capital, WINDHOEK.

The national broadcaster says the donation includes 110-THOUSAND units of period delay tablets and solo shot syringes, 200-THOUSAND femidoms and ONE-THOUSAND-100 implants.

It says Minister HAUFIKU has decided to have young people empowered to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

NBC News says FIRST Health Minister NICKEY IYAMBO in 1996 issued the Abortion and Sterilisation Bill for public consultation, but later Health Minister LIBERTINA AMATHILA withdrew it in 1999.

Under the NAMIBIAN Law, abortion may only be performed under strict medical supervision; and consent for it may only be given in cases of rape, especially when the life of the mother is in danger.

In another development, the RUNDU Magistrate’s Court in the ZAMBEZI Region has charged a 32-year-old man with the murder and illegal burial of his girlfriend.

Prosecutor STEVEN HARADOEB alleges CASTRO DOMINGO killed 26-year-old MUROTUA MBETJIUA and attempted to defeat justice.

Prosecutor HARADOEB has objected to bail for the accused, citing the seriousness of the case, public interest, and the just started investigations.

Magistrate BARRY MUFANA has warned Mr DOMINGO of his legal rights, and the accused says he will hire a private lawyer to handle his case.

NBC News says the deceased woman went missing FIVE days ago from DIVUNDU Area in the MUKWE Constituency, prompting the family to file a missing person report.

It says after TWO days of police interrogation, Mr DOMINGO allegedly confessed to killing Ms MBETJIUA at DIVUNDU, saying he took her body to RUNDU Town and buried it in a shallow grave.

Magistrate MUFANA has postponed the case to 14 MAY this year, to allow investigations to go on and the accused to get a lawyer.

The NAMIBIAN Magistrate has instructed the murder suspect to bring a formal bail application, if he wishes to be released on bail before trial./Sabanews/cam

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