Have We Forgotten about Apartheid? – The Namibian

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Have We Forgotten about Apartheid? - The Namibian
Have We Forgotten about Apartheid? - The Namibian

Africa-PressNamibia. THE FIRST THING that comes up when googling Namibian law is its hybridity.

It comprises a mixture of legal traditions, from inherited Dutch and British civil and common laws, to international laws and African customary laws. This plurality in many ways reflects the Namibian nation. Held supreme over all Namibian laws is the Constitution, a document crafted on the eve of Namibian independence. The preamble to the Constitution speaks of the inherent dignity, the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status. Some 31 years after this document was crafted, the day-to-day reality of many Namibians fall short of these noble principales. One recent example of this is the discrimination that same-sex couple Phillip Lühl and Guillermo Delgado faces in trying to get their children Namibian citizenship. Their newborn twins have been left stranded in South-Africa with repeated refusals by the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security to issue the infants travel documents, effectively separating the family. Many commentators on The Namibian’s social media platforms are of the opinion that “the law is the law” and Delgado and Lühl, like all people in Namibia, must abide by it, that if they do not like it, they should leave the country. Have we forgotten that not so long ago the law was used to systemically discriminate against the majority of Namibians? Is our collective amnesia so strong that we now regard state institutions as above question or reproach? Do we agree to the cruel and needless separation of a family based on outdated discriminatory laws which contradict our Constitution? When did we forget that laws can, do, and must be changed?Stephanie Roland

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