Infanticide victim laid to rest…both parents incarcerated

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Infanticide victim laid to rest…both parents incarcerated

A 10-day-old baby girl who was allegedly killed by her mother two weeks ago has been laid to rest by her father’s family without the presence of her parents as they are both in custody.

The mood was sombre.

The child’s uncle carried the white coffin with gold trimmings to the grave as a handful of relatives gathered at the Oponganda cemetery in Windhoek on Tuesday afternoon.

It was reported that 28-year-old Jeniffer Melanie Shipanga was arrested last week for allegedly murdering her 10-day-old baby girl by hitting her against a wooden door in Katutura.

According to Khomas police spokesperson Silas Shipandeni, Shipanga, who was suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol, allegedly also attempted to strangle her seven-year-old son, but was overpowered by her mother.  

“She grabbed her seven-year-old son, who is deaf, and started strangling him. The grandmother tried to stop the suspect, but the suspect overpowered her and bit her on the cheek and both arms,” Shipandeni explained. 

The suspect is now facing murder and attempted murder charges.

However, Winnie Bruna, the sister of the suspect, explained that her sister was not under the influence of alcohol as reported by the police, but was drugged.

“She did not go out of the house to consume alcohol. My sister does not drink alcohol, she only uses drugs. The information you have published about her is incorrect that she was under the influence of alcohol,” she explained in defence of her sister.

 She furthermore told New Era that her sister lost her father when she was two years old. 

“After he died, her mom took her to live in the north with her father’s parents. She stayed with them until she completed primary school. In 2009 when she was 15, her mom sent for her to come to Windhoek so that she could start her secondary school education. She has lived with her mom and grandmother since 2009,” Bruna explained.

But the baby’s father’s family said although the suspect’s family refused to disclose what transpired and led to the death of the innocent baby, they decided to lay her to rest, for her to rest in peace.

“I have decided to collect a few cents to buy the coffin for my granddaughter and put her to rest. We have managed. May her soul rest in everlasting peace,” said the grandmother, Johanna Kleopas.

Sources explained that the father of the deceased was also arrested four days before the tragic incident in connection with the theft of a cell phone, which is why he could not attend his daughter’s funeral.

Bruna also indicated that the seven-year-old son is not deaf. He can hear, but has a speech/language disorder and is currently staying with his dad’s family. 

“Claims that she always abused her grandmother are false. Her biggest joy in life is her kids (her two sons, a seven-year-old and a three-year-old). Despite being a single mother, she always made sure that they had everything they need. She always wanted to have a daughter, and was so excited when she finally had her baby girl. She loves her children dearly and is incapable of hurting them intentionally. Anyone who knows her will attest to that”, Bruna added. 

Shipanga appeared in court last week, and was denied bail. Her matter is remanded for further investigations.