WINDHOEK - Police in Omusati Region are investigating the death of a child who allegedly fell into a pot of boiling cooking oil at Olefa open market in Outapi last week.
According to information by Omusati regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Simaho, the minor’s mother left him with someone while she went to the market.
Upon the mother’s return to the open market, she found the child, who was playing around when she left, severely burned after falling into the boiling pot of cooking oil.
“The deceased was immediately taken to Outapi State Hospital the very same time, but succumbed to injuries,” explained the deputy commissioner.
The commissioner said the cooking oil was cooking ‘vetkoeks’ that the deceased’s mother usually sells at the market.
The commissioner explained that the matter was never reported to the police until someone alerted them through a tip-off.
Having located the mother and witnesses, an inquest docket has now been opened.
Simaho further explained that although the deceased’s relatives were already issued with a death certificate immediately after the incident as they had arranged to bury the deceased the next day of the incident, police immediately intervened and stop the burial in order for the post-mortem to be conducted.
He said that the post-mortem was conducted and the result was that the cause of death was severe burns.
“Now we have to forward the docket to the office of the prosecutor at Oshakati to decide whether there was child negligence or not and whether there will be prosecution or not,” he explained.
The deceased was identified as Dawid Enkali Hifile, who was 11 months old. Investigation into the matter continues.
The CEO of Outapi Town Council Ananias Nashilongo said vendors were warned not to sell with children at the premises, but such calls often fell on deaf ears.
Nashilongo said the law dictates in this regard and if there was compliance, an incident such as this could be prevented.
A meeting by council officials and the police would be convened soon to drive the message home again, Nashilongo told New Era.