WALVIS BAY – The often-assaulted mother of the five-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by his stepfather, was caught between a rock and a hard place when she attempted to withdraw one of the assault cases against the accused. Memory Eises was hit with a brick in the head.
After pleas from her mother-in-law, she went to the police station to withdraw the case. However, the law does not allow for GBV cases to be withdrawn by the victim. Riddick Ricky Narib, who is accused of murdering Wilfred Dantani Eiseb at Walvis Bay last Friday, had a warrant of arrest issued against him after he failed to appear in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court for assault charges.
Narib faces murder, kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges after he lured his stepson away from a tuckshop in Tutaleni, and then he allegedly killed and buried him in a shallow grave in the dunes. According to court documents, Narib had before the murder made a first appearance on assault charges after he allegedly hit Eises with a brick in the head. Eises, however, shortly, after her husband’s appearance last year, went on to withdraw the case against him.
She still has a second case pending against her husband. According to court documents seen by New Era, Eises made a withdrawal statement. However, State prosecutor Fidel Wakudumo, who was dealing with the case, refused to withdraw it.
“The lady filed a withdrawal statement, which is still in the docket, but the prosecutor refused to withdraw it. Instead, a warrant of arrest was issued for Narib when he failed to make his second appearance in court,” a court official said Wednesday.
However, the arrest could not happen due to the withdrawal statement she had made. Contacted, minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security Albert Kawana said the incident is indeed a tragedy, and that they have requested a detailed report from the Erongo police in that regard. “I cannot comment on the matter specifically, as it is in court, but I can say that the Gender-Based Violence Act was amended in such a way that it does not allow for withdrawals of such cases. It becomes a State case,” Kawana explained.
He said suspects can still be prosecuted if there is sufficient evidence.
“The State can continue to prosecute through the prosecutor general’s office. In fact, the PG will be the one to decide whether the case should be withdrawn or continued,” Kawana added.
The minister added that often, GBV victims are pressured by family members to withdraw cases.“You see, when I was motivating the law in parliament, some of my colleagues even accused me of interfering in bedroom affairs. But it was for issues such as these, and that law must be applied to protect our women and innocent children,” the minister said. Eises this week confirmed the attempt to withdraw the case after her mother-in-law begged her to do so.
“I was living with his family, and his mother begged me and promised that she would make sure he won’t touch me again,” she said. According to her, the family told her that they have a child together, which she should consider and therefore withdraw the case against her husband.
An uncle of the suspect, Williward Narib, yesterday told New Era he was not aware of the withdrawal, but said it is possible that the family could have asked her to withdraw the case. “You see, there are so many dynamics to this case, and Eises was very close to her in-laws.
But it still does not justify the murder of an innocent child. Violence is not the answer, and I had told my nephew this in several conversations. We must always find a way to discuss things instead of resorting you violence,” Narib said on Wednesday.
Erongo police commander Nikolaus Kupembona, who visited the family yesterday, said the investigation is at an advanced stage, as it is of national concern.
“It is a priority case, and it is receiving the attention it deserves. However, I want to call on the community to remain calm and continue to seek help from the police. Don’t just go to the charge office. My number is available. Make sure that you are assisted. After all, this is a public office – your office, and we must serve you,” he said.
Kupembona accompanied the Erongo Regional Council chairperson of the management committee, Benitha Imbamba, as well as Walvis Bay Rural constituency councillor Florian Donatus to express their condolences to the family.