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Family regrets not reporting ‘abusive relationship’

2022-06-20  Festus Hamalwa

Family regrets not reporting ‘abusive relationship’

OKANGWENA – A spate of domestic violence incidents escalated into the fatal stabbing of a mother and her minor child in the early morning hours of yesterday, sending the close-knit community of Okangwena in Ondangwa into mourning. A case of double murder and attempted murder has now been opened against the suspect, who stabbed his 37-year-old girlfriend Ruth Ndapandula Immanuel (37) and his daughter Lovisa Kandume (2) multiple times. Their third child, 13-year-old Frankel Simon Kandume, survived the ordeal and is being treated for injuries sustained during the attack in a local hospital. 

The couple’s five-year-old girl, who is apparently the suspect’s favourite child, was not struck during the merciless Father’s Day attack, which occurred just before 02h00 yesterday morning. Relatives of the victims yesterday reacted with shock and anguish, saying they have in the past tried to convince the slain woman to end the “abusive relationship”. 

“My niece did not listen. I spoke to her several times regarding her relationship
after she reported to me of being abused by her boyfriend,” a distraught Erastus Shikongo told New Era at Okangwena yesterday. Relatives told this publication that the victim has been abused by the suspect on various occasions. “The deceased used to call us after being assaulted by her boyfriend,” the family stated. One of the aunts narrated how the deceased’s arm was recently broken after being assaulted by the boyfriend. “This year when I visited my niece, I witnessed her being assaulted by the boyfriend with a bottle of beer,” Shikongo added. The family said they regret not reporting the matter to the police, although they advised the deceased to end the relationship. 

“Even after being assaulted by the boyfriend, she continued going to her boyfriend’s house,” the uncle said. According to the family, the accused and the victim visited a pension payout centre on Saturday before retreating to their Okangwena home.  “When they came back, the suspect told the people in their area that he would kill his girlfriend with a knife.”  

The deceased’s aunt, Kelao Hamwele, said the suspect told one of the victim’s sisters to visit their home, but she refused. Hamwele said a few hours later, the suspect went back to the victim’s sister’s house, calling her to come and see what he had done to her relatives. 

“When she arrived, she found two people dead and the injured boy in a critical condition, while nothing happened to the other child,” she recounted. The suspect was arrested yesterday morning, and immediately transported to hospital after he allegedly attempted a drug overdose. According to the police, the suspect allegedly shot and killed two people at a Namibian Defence Force canteen in Katima Mulilo some two years ago. 

This newspaper could not immediately verify the status of his case at the time of going to print late yesterday. The suspect will appear in court today.

2022-06-20  Festus Hamalwa

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