RUNDU - Two brothers, who were arrested on Tuesday at Nepara village on charges of trafficking in persons and contravention of the Labour Act, were denied bail due to the seriousness of the case against them.
The accused, Vaatakana Tjindunda (45) and Tjipirandi Tjindunda (63) appeared in the Kahenge Magistrate’s Court yesterday for allegedly employing two children under the age of 15 as cattle herders.
The court felt it is in the best interest of justice not to grant them bail.
Their case was postponed to 13 June 2022, pending investigations and plea. The court explained to them their rights to formal bail application if they wish to be released.
According to the police, the two children boarded the accused’s vehicle from Kunene region hoping to be dropped off somewhere in Omusati, but the accused allegedly instead took them to Kavango West in an isolated environment where they were forced to herd cattle.
“They were brought to Nepara village [in Kavango West’s Mpungu constituency] without their consent where they were tasked to look after their livestock without shelter where they can sleep. The children were taken by the police and placed at a home of safety in Kavango East region at the moment,’’ said Inspector Raimbert Muronga of the Kavango West police on Tuesday.
Both the accused are from Opuwo in the Kunene region and they have been farming with livestock in Kavango West for the past few years.
One of the accused is a teacher while the brother is a pensioner in charge of the children taking care of the livestock.
“As the police, we are warning all residents in Kavango West region to cease the practice of employing children under the age as prescribed by the Labour Law and we call on residents to report such incidents without delays,’’ Muronga said.
“Kavango West region is known for its fertile land and vast grazing for livestock and therefore expect more incidents of this nature to be in existence. We call on citizens to report to the nearest police, hospital or traditional leaders for police attention.”