WINDHOEK – Two women, including a mother accused of killing and then disposing of the body of a nine-year-old girl, made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday before magistrate Ndepewa Amadhila.
The husband of one of the women is still hospitalised after being involved in a car accident and will be joined in the matter once he is discharged from hospital.
They face charges of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and violating a dead body.
Caroline Nkata (36) and Rachel Kureva (37) – who is the biological mother of the deceased – were informed of the charges against them and of their right to legal representation.
Nkata indicated she would conduct her own defence, while Kureva said she would instruct a private lawyer, as she is a member of a legal insurance company.
Nkata was asked what she intended to plead to the charges and she indicated she is guilty to an extent.
Asked by the court to explain, she said: “I was present when my husband beat the child, but I did not do anything to her. After she was dead he forced me to accompany him when he went to buy paraffin and when he disposed of the body and set it alight.”
The magistrate then entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.
Kureva was not asked to plead as she indicated that she wants to instruct a private lawyer.
Prosecutor Andrie Jo-Ann Hendricks opposed bail being granted to both accused, saying the investigations are at an infant stage and there is a fear that the accused might interfere with the investigations and State witnesses.
She noted both accused are Zimbabwean nationals with no ties to Namibia and as such are a flight risk.
According to the prosecutor, several witness statements are still outstanding as well as the post-mortem report and video footage from the City Police and a service station near the crime scene.
She also said that one more suspect is expected to be added to the charges.
Hendricks said the charges faced by the accused are serious and could serve as an inducement to abscond if bail is granted and also that it would not be in the interest of the public or justice.
The magistrate informed both accused that they will remain in custody, but that they have the right to bring a formal bail application in due course if they so wished.
Retired teacher, Sakaria Naftali, discovered the burnt body of the girl identified as Akundaishe Natalie Chipombo, on Saturday morning.
Kureva was arrested on Sunday after police investigations.
Nkata and her husband were arrested on Sunday afternoon near Otjiwarongo.
Investigations so far have revealed a pattern of abuse of the child by the husband of Nkata, the police revealed.
The autopsy on the child revealed that she died from multiple injuries to her head.
The couple and Kureva, who is a registered nurse and temporary residence permit holder employed at a Windhoek hospital, lived together in a rented house in Windhoek North.
2020-01-30 07:10:04 | 24 days ago