WALVIS BAY – Family and friends of Walvis Bay businesswoman Engela Borruso Strydom, who was allegedly killed by her husband on Thursday evening after a night out, say they were shocked to learn the couple had marital problems.
According to the family members, the couple has only been married for less than five months before the murder.
“What happened to Strydom is unbelievable and shocking. It shows that people can appear happy on the outside while the unthinkable happens behind closed doors,” a source close to the family said yesterday.
The 48-year-old Strydom died at a local hospital after being initially admitted under the guise of a failed suicide as allegedly reported by her husband.
The husband, who has since been arrested and charged with murder, reportedly called emergency services shortly after the shooting incident at their Meersig home.
The hospital in turn notified the police that quickly discovered discrepancies in the alleged suicide as the weapon itself was found under her pillow while she was lying on the balcony floor.
“There is no way that you can shoot yourself, hide the firearm and fall down to die,” a police source told New Era on Saturday.
Police Inspector Ileni Shapumba on Friday told journalists the couple was seen earlier in a joyous mood while sharing drinks at a local bar at the town.
“Witnesses saw Strydom leaving the bar first and told us that she was followed several minutes later by the suspect,” Shapumba explained. The shooting is believed to have taken place between 20h00 and 21h00.
He confirmed the suspect initially told the police he found his wife lying face down with a gunshot wound to her forehead.
“We were notified by a local hospital about a suicide attempt of a woman. However, preliminary investigations conducted by the police revealed strongly opposing evidence. As a result, the husband was taken into custody for questioning. It is suspected that he shot her from behind,” he said.
A 9-millimetre firearm was found hidden under a pillow, while four spent cartridges were found at the crime scene. The suspect will appear today in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court.
Meanwhile, at least eight people have lost their lives at the hands of their partners in the Erongo region this year. According to statistics provided over the weekend, five victims were women while three men were killed by girlfriends or wives.
“In many cases, men cannot accept that a relationship is over and feel that they have invested too much in such a relationship. However, it does not mean that you need to end someone’s life if the relationship ended. We need to know when to accept and move on or seek professional help if we struggle to accept that a relationship is over,” said Shapumba.
Erongo governor Neville Andre yesterday said it is unfortunate that the nation still experiences domestic violence.
“I want to sincerely express my condolences to the family of those that died as a result of domestic violence. We need to commend the Namibian police for their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators. It is not acceptable for couples or family members to hurt each other nor is it acceptable for our people to keep quiet about bruises on their bodies as a result of domestic violence,” he said. He appealed to those in abusive relationships as well as those who witness domestic violence in their communities to break the silence.
“Report it immediately. It can be treated with the utmost confidentiality if you do not want the perpetrator to know who reported them. The police cannot see what is happening in our homes, so be the eyes of the police. Report any abusive relationship before it gets to passion killing. If we stand up together to help the police, we will eradicate the evil of domestic violence in our communities,” he said.