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Abuse victim starts school

2023-01-19  Loide Jason

Abuse victim starts school

A girl whose abuse by her guardian went viral and evoked anger from the public three weeks ago, finally started school at one of the best primary schools in Windhoek on Monday.

The school will not be named to protect the identity of the minor. The 11-year-old victim, who has never been in a formal school, has been placed in grade three and will be assisted by an educational psychologist.

The victim has been admitted to school following the action of prominent lawyer Sisa Namandje who stepped in to pay for all her school-related costs for the period of five years.

Namandje has come to the rescue of the abused Windhoek girl, committing to cater for her essential needs for the next five years. 

This follows the New Era report of the girl who has been physically abused and neglected by her mother’s friend, her guardian, since October 2021.

According to Taimi Iileka, the chairperson of the Sisa Namandje Foundation, who accompanied the child to school on her first day, said the victim was grateful and shy as she never set foot in a formal school before.

“You can see that she cannot have a proper conversation in English but she will surely catch up. She started in grade three because of her age. Her age mates are in grade five. The school will assess her within the first semester and see how she will perform,” said Iileka. 

She said the education ministry, through the regional director, also stepped in to assist her with an educational psychologist although not speaking her vernacular, with time she will catch up. 

The lawyer’s foundation promptly responded to New Era’s article by pledging funds meant for various social projects to assist the mother with groceries and clothing in the amount of N$4 000. 

Namandje earlier indicated that the gravity and scale of abuse and neglect this child was subjected to immediately triggered a decision on his foundation’s part to step in and assist.

“Our foundation exactly stands for assisting those who are in difficult circumstances, such as the abused and neglected child you reported on. We rely on information from newspapers and other sources in identifying our beneficiaries,” he had added.

The victim told New Era that since October 2021, she was not allowed to play and was often beaten with a sjambok for failing to arrange the Otombo jars on the table.

The latest incident occurred this month when the suspect, Maria Johannes, allegedly called the victim to go and feed her child while there was some noise coming from the jukebox blaring at the nearby bar.

The victim allegedly did not hear being called, and the suspect then grabbed a bottle of beer and smashed it on the victim’s face before she took a knife to cut her hand.

Bystanders made a video of her violation that went viral on social media platforms.

Johannes was arrested and has to stay in custody until 27 February while charges of assault, malicious damage to property and contravention of the Child Care and Protection Act are being investigated.

She appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday and where she was denied bail.


2023-01-19  Loide Jason

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