A man and his wife accused of assaulting his daughter to death, burning her body and dumping it in a rubbish skip in Windhoek two years ago, made their first appearance in the High Court yesterday.
Zimbabwean citizens, Edward Nkata (39) and Caroline Nkata (38), appeared before Judge Christie Liebenberg after the prosecutor general decided to have them stand trial for the death of Edward’s daughter Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho (9).
Chipomho died between 23 and 25 January 2020.
During their appearance, the court ordered the State to avail the disclosure by end of today and the defence should file their replies no later than 14 April. The court postponed the matter to 21 April, remanding the pair in police custody.
The Nkatas are facing counts of murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, fraud and remaining in Namibia after the expiry of their visitor entry permits.
According to the indictment, on the charge of attempted murder, the State is alleging the couple also tried to kill Edward’s 11-year-old son by hitting him with a belt and unknown object all over his body between 20 and 22 January 2020. However, he survived the ordeal.
On the charge of obstructing the course of justice, the State is alleging the couple removed Chipomho’s body from their home, dumped it in a municipal skip and set it alight, in an attempt to evade prosecution.
The indictment further indicates the accused defrauded Progress Private School of N$6 000. It is alleged Caroline indicated to the school where she was employed as a teacher that Chipomho and an 11-year-old minor were her biological children. Thus, the minor children were not required to pay school fees by virtue of her being an employee at the school.
The couple is also accused of forging school reports for the children.
The State is further accusing the Nkatas of overstaying in the country for seven months after their employment permits have expired.
The couple was initially charged alongside Chipomho’s mother Rachael Kureva (39) but the prosecutor general decided not to prosecute her due to lack of evidence.
During the accused’s first appearance in court, Caroline, who admitted guilt, confessed her husband (Edward) beat Chipomho.
She was allegedly home when the victim was being beaten. After the child died from being assaulted, her husband forced her to help him dispose of the girl’s body in a rubbish skip. It was her testimony that he further forced her to accompany him to buy paraffin, dispose of the body and set it alight.
The Nkatas were spotted dragging a wheelie bin in the eastern direction of Ooievaar Street in the Rhino Park area around 21h00 and a witness felt it was suspicious because it was at night.
The couple was caught on a surveillance camera in the area.
The Nkatas are represented by Mbanga Siyomunji and Milton Engelbrecht.
Caption: (Nkata) In the dock… Murder accused Caroline Nkata.