Maria Johannes, who is accused of physically abusing a child in her care, has to stay in custody while charges of assault, malicious damage to property and contravention of the child care and protection act are investigated.
Johannes (39) was arrested on Sunday following a video that went viral on social media, showing a 12-year-old victim with fresh wounds that portrayed physical evidence of abuse and neglect.
She appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday and was denied bail. The matter is remanded for 27 February for further investigation.
The 12-year-old girl, who allegedly suffered abuse of her guardian, Johannes, said she endured prolonged suffering and neglect, does not go to school and is made to work in an establishment, selling alcohol.
The victim spoke about her ordeal from her hospital bed with her mother by her side on Tuesday.
The girl, who cannot be named, as she is underaged, said she has been physically abused by her guardian since October 2021 when she was handed to the suspect, who was supposed to take care of her.
The latest incident happened last weekend when hot water was poured on her face, smashed with a bottle of beer and cut with a knife on her fingers.
“My auntie beats me almost every day if I do not arrange the table or sometimes if I did not feed her small baby,” she narrated.
State prosecutor Victoria Likius objected to the granting of bail, saying the accused is facing serious charges, and the victim in the matter is a minor; if the accused gets bail, she may interfere with investigations and State witnesses.
After her rights were explained to her by magistrate Ngahivirikue Kapia, the suspect informed the court she will conduct her own defence.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
She was remanded in the custody of Klein Windhoek, where she was kept since the day of her arrest.