By: Ketemba Tjipepa
A 30-year-old woman serving an 18 year sentence at the Windhoek correctional facility is regretful of her crime and pleads for forgiveness after stabbing her boyfriend to death eight years ago at Aussenkehr in the southern part of the country. The inmate, Bianca Engelbrecht, was 21 years-old at the time and in an abusive relationship with her late boyfriend. Her deepest regret is leaving her child to grow up without a mother figure. "The person I murdered was my boyfriend. I want to make use of this platform to ask for forgiveness from the victims' family. They should please forgive me for what I did. I regret what I did and learnt from my mistakes," said Engelbrecht, while adding that the bible study has enabled her to forgive herself.
Engelbrecht was among female inmates who shared their stories and adviced learners at the Dawid Bezuidenhout High School in Khomasdal during an outreach programme organised by the Windhoek Correctional facility.
Similarly, Johanna Lukas (30) from Swakopmund said she only came to realise that her action of linking up a then 13-year-old girl to an older man was unlawful. Lukas recruited an underaged girl for a South African national who was employed at a mine, for sexual acts. She was sentenced to 13 years for human trafficking and rape in 2015.
"I introduced a 13-year-old girl to an older man. The man said they were going to be in a relationship but it actually for sexual exploitation. At the time, I thought it was not wrong. I thought, because I was not forcing her to do anything she did not want, I thought it was okay, because I asked her and she agreed. But then I came to realise in prison that what I did was wrong. I was not supposed to do what I did - it is rape and that is why I was sentenced to trafficking in person and rape," narrated Lukas.
As part of the facility's outreach programme, the female inmates will also visit the old age homes.