Namibia
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LPM backs porn video mayor

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is standing firmly behind party member and Outjo mayor Johannes Bapello after an explicit video of him stroking his manhood went viral on social media.

LPM spokesperson Lifalaza Simataa yesterday emphasised the need for a fair investigation to uncover the truth behind how the pornographic video was shared on social media.

Bapello yesterday apologised for the existence of the explicit video.

He claims that either his phone was hacked or a child at his home accidentally shared the video.

He explained that he had not been using his phone at the time of the incident, and he was shocked to find the video had gone viral.

“I did not intentionally share the material, and I apologise because the phone is mine,” he said.

When questioned why he kept such content on his phone, Bapello asked: “Is my phone not private?”

He added that he has enlisted the services of an investigator to determine what exactly happened.

Simataa believes it is crucial not to rush to conclusions prematurely and considers the possibility that Bapello might be a victim in this situation.

“He might be a victim of the situation because, for instance, if this is a retaliation by someone that’s sharing private information where he becomes a victim of revenge porn, or something like this is something we don’t advocate. Therefore, we will stand with him as being a victim,” said Simataa.

Recognising the seriousness of the matter, LPM stresses the importance of handling the situation with care and sensitivity. Pending the outcome of a thorough investigation, Simataa said the party aims to understand the circumstances surrounding the video’s release, intending to approach the matter appropriately based on the investigation’s findings.

Simataa further said LPM has always prioritised adherence to the code of conduct and ethical guidelines among its members.

However, he acknowledged that the video of the mayor is not explicitly covered under existing mandates.

Despite this, the party is committed to addressing any such issues that may arise in the future.

“The video itself is explicit in nature and I believe, especially with the platform that it was on, it’s not a good look regardless and it’s not something that we support. So, therefore, there’s still a conversation that’s going to be had or a warning that’s going to be given and also just an investigation to ensure that we also tell other leaders and members to be vigilant in certain areas,” he said.

He clarified that LPM cannot dictate individuals’ actions during their free time, especially if they are not public figures.

However, Simataa urged the public to exercise caution and ensure their smartphone usage is safe, considering the increasing risks of digital crimes, scams and privacy breaches.

In light of this incident, community activist Ben Narib has offered to educate elders on the proper use of smartphones and social media.

His aim is to prevent the posting of inappropriate content on their statuses, stressing the need for responsible smartphone usage.

*As the video in question causes great emotional distress and may adversely affect the victim’s psychological well-being, The Namibian does not encourage its distribution.