You have news tips, feel free to contact us via email

Police probe attempt to burn down Henties ‘gallows’

A report of malicious damage to property was recorded with the Henties Bay police after unknown people tried to burn down the gallows.

The report said that unknown suspect(s) attempted to burn down the gallows at Henties Bay town on Saturday night.

According to the police, the suspect(s) used methylated spirits to set alight the gallows but the flame did not succeed.

After the fire failed to burn down the gallows, the suspect(s) then tried to cut down the gallows with an unknown object but that too failed.

The suspect(s), however, removed the rope that was dangling on the gallows.

Although the custodian of the gallows did not lodge a complaint yet, Erongo police said an investigating team was sent to the site.

The investigating team, the police further said, could not trace the suspect(s) using footprints because people rushed to see if the gallows had indeed been burnt down after a video was circulated on social media.


The gallows, an interesting landmark for more than 20 years is probably the most photographed item in Henties Bay. It became a popular tourist attraction and in 2001 the Municipality had the following inscription affixed:

Erected in 1978 as an appeal to keep the town and beach clean. Initiated by Frank Atkinson and Willie Cilliers, who respectively settled at the town in 1969 and 1971 as two of the first permanent residents of Henties Bay.

In recent weeks, the gallows became the centre of fierce debate after an online petition was launched demanding the removal of the tree stump.

Malvis Braga Elias launched the petition which she said was on behalf of the Namibian civil society and the concerned members of the public.
The petition demanded that the Namibian government and the Henties Bay Municipality through its councillors remove The Gallows “landmark”.

The Henties Bay tourism website says the erection of gallows is harmless humour and that hanging and slavery is not part of Namibia’s history.

But Elias says the disclaimer that lynching is not a part of Namibia’s history is both incorrect and intended to gloss over the atrocities and prejudice faced by the Namibian people at the hands of colonization.

“Though it is understood that lynching may not have taken place at the landmark, one cannot deny the vexatious innuendo it was intended to send. Nor can one deny the history of the execution and lynching of the innocent lives of Namibian citizens during the Nama Herero Genocide,” Elias argued in the petition.

The petition demanded the:
· Remove The Gallows “landmark” from the public location in Henties Bay;
· Put The Gallows “landmark” in a Namibian Museum with an accurate description;
· Respond to this petition within two weeks of its submission to the Henties Bay Municipality Councillors;
· Commit to meet the representatives of the petitioners.

“Kindly be advised that should we not get a satisfactory response to this petition within two weeks;  We will organise the concerned members of the public to remove The Gallows ourselves.”

Wonder Guchu

Related Posts

Read Also ... x