Hate kills

Lying on her back on the ground, Christof Fredricks (30) was naked when she was discovered, her body covered with 32 stab wounds, her mutilated genitals placed on her chest, and her shoes, shorts and underwear scattered nearby.

Fredricks’ death brings the total number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) community members murdered in hate crimes in the past year to six, the Namibia Equal Rights Movement claimed yesterday. The Namibian police did not verify this figure, however, there have been several cases since the beginning of this year.

Fredricks’ body was discovered at Otjomuise’s 7de Laan settlement in Windhoek yesterday.

The transgender woman was last seen by family members on Wednesday morning when she packed her clothes to visit a friend’s place.

The Namibia Equal Rights Movement blames members of parliament (MPs) and Swapo backbencher Jerry Ekandjo’s private member’s bills – passed by both the National Assembly and National Council – which aim to redefine the term ‘spouse’ and amend the Marriage Act of 1961 to block the recognition of same-sex marriage in Namibia for the undignified killings.

“The undignified killings of LGBTQI+ Namibians is a direct result of the parliament legislating hate and sanctioning hate crimes.

“Since the parliament passed the anti-LGBTQI+ bill in July 2023, we have lost six queer siblings to hate crimes and violent murders. Reports continue to detail victims being tied up, found naked and, in the most recent report, their genitals cut off,” the movement stated yesterday.

Minister of agriculture, water and land reform Calle Schlettwein yesterday said: “I am greatly saddened and concerned about this senseless and brutal behaviour.

“I have no hard evidence that the bill in itself is the cause of these deeds, but what has happened is that the LGBTQI+ community has been portrayed by those in support of the bill as criminals, as unwanted members of society and as an isolated group to be treated differently and inhumanely.

“Such differential treatment of people in the same society is undermining the fundamental principle of equality. It is not only in direct conflict with the Namibian Constitution, it is inhumane.”

Max Katjimune, PDM member of parliament, when contacted for comment yesterday, said: “I do not have concrete evidence at my disposal to conclude that these murders were a result of the Ekandjo bills.

“What is clear, however, is that the Ekandjo bills do pose a threat to members of the LGBTQI+ community if they are assented to by the president and become law, because they impose a sentence of six years direct imprisonment or N$100 000 fine for the ‘promotion’ of same-sex marriage in Section 3 of the marriage amendment bill, and this is what I objected to in the house when the bills were being debated.

“The word ‘promotion’ in the bill is also not properly defined, so it further poses a danger to all members of society in that the law may be used to advance ulterior motives by the powers that be.”

Other MPs contacted, including minister of environment, forestry and toursim Pohamba Shifeta, who last year distanced himself from the gay community, did not respond to requests for comment by the time of going to print yesterday.

Another MP who opted not to comment was National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) secretary general Joseph Kauandenge, who said he wanted to consult on the matter.

Swapo, the Popular Democratic Movement and Namibia Economic Freedom Fighter chief whips Hamunyera Hambyuka, Elma Dienda and Longinus Iipumbu, respectively, did not respond to questions sent to them.

Meanwhile, Landless People’s Movement’s Duminga Ndala agreed with Namibia Equal Movement Rights’ sentiments, saying the safety and security of Namibians should be the country’s leadership’s first priority.

“Obviously, these impressions have been created by some of the leaders repeating homophobic tendencies,” she said yesterday.


The body of Queen Uwuseb (35) was discovered in a decomposed state in a riverbed close to Golgota on 29 February. Uwuseb was reportedly seen with a man in the area before her death.

On 2 March, Stanley Cloete (36) was discovered dead in his Dorado Park home, robbed of his vehicle and furniture.
Gurney Uirab was allegedly stabbed to death at Tsumeb’s Soweto area on 23 March.

Walvis Bay resident Vernon Gavin (52) was found in his bathroom by neighbours after he was allegedly raped and murdered.
At Lüderitz, Gerome Helgrain (41) was allegedly robbed, raped and murdered.

Helgrain was stabbed with an unknown object, inflicting over 40 stab wounds all over his body.

His cellphone and 43-inch television were stolen.


Fredricks’ aunt, Beniqna Visser, yesterday received a call from an unknown person, telling her a “[offensive term] was murdered”.

“My heart immediately dropped as soon as I received the call, because according to the caller, the deceased was identified as ‘Sexy Charmy’, which is what we call her at home.

“When we got to the scene, we immediately saw her black dress, hair and underwear on the ground,” Visser said.

She said the shock has left her in denial and hopeful that Fredricks would still return home.

“So cruel to perform such a gruesome act,” she said.

“I believe this was done by two or more people, because how can someone cut Fredricks’ private parts and put it on her chest, her body had about 32 stab wounds all over,” she said.

“At this point, we are all clueless on who could possibly have done this, because she was never open to us on who she was romantically involved with,” Visser said.

Police spokesperson Elifas Kuwinga yesterday confirmed that Fredricks’ body was discovered by a passer-by in a riverbed next to Chairman Mao Zedong High School at Otjomuise.

“The body has multiple stab wounds and the private part of the deceased was cut off and placed on his [her] chest. What is suspected to be his [her] clothes were found at a distance from the body along Ghanzi Street, as well as several blood spots along the road,” he said.

Kuwinga said Fredricks’ aunt said she left home on Wednesday morning between 10h00 and 11h00 in the company of a friend and never returned home.

“The last they heard is that they parted ways with the friend at the Otjomuise shops, until the discovery of his [her] mutilated body this morning [yesterday]. Investigations continue,” he said.

Stacy Lapworth


Out-Right Namibia executive director Agapitus Hausiku yesterday said the acts are encouraged by Ekandjo’s bills.

“It all comes from Ekandjo’s bills. There has been a peaceful coexistence in the community, but ever since these bills were proposed there has been so much violence against LGBTQI+ community members.

“The politicians are the ones instigating violence and they are the ones who should stop all the murders,” he said.

Hausiku said the murder cases are very worrying and are increasing every month.

“The numbers are debatable, because some are not reported, and because of that, we do not feel safe any more,” he said.

Messages and phone calls to Ekandjo were yesterday not answered by the time of going to print.

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