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OTA dismisses witchcraft prosecution

2023-09-25  Max Heinrich

OTA dismisses witchcraft prosecution

ONGWEDIVA – The Ondonga Traditional Authority threw a case out of the traditional courts, in which a man claims to have been experiencing witchcraft and emotional torture from his wife of 35 years. 

Retired army sergeant Talaah Shaningwa (64), turned to the traditional court after spending three months in police custody, where he was incarcerated on charges of pointing a firearm at his wife.

Shaningwa, however, claims that the charges were fabricated after he caught his wife in bed with various men on several occasions.

The couple has been married since 1988, and have three children together.

He claims to have found his wife in their matrimonial bed several times, with the latest incident happening on 26 February this year.

He allegedly made an unexpected return from the Kavango region to their home at the Oshitayi village, only to find his wife escaping through their bedroom window with another male villager, whom Shaningwa claims to have recognised.

“I saw them escaping through the window, running towards the back gate of our yard. I decided to follow their footsteps, and realised that they went and hid in my wife’s teenage namesake’s bedroom. I decided not to confront them,” he said.

Shaningwa was arrested the following day after his wife opened a case against him. 

“I was granted bail of N$700 in May,” he said.

He has since applied for a protection order against his wife. 

But, he claims to have been experiencing a series of witchcraft attacks. 

“[The day after my release] we found a tortoise in the house. I was shocked because it was shedding tears, and we killed and burnt it. The house cat came up to me, and its eyes turned black and blue. We also ended up beating it to death with my son. We later saw a chameleon coming from my bedroom... I have reason to believe she is bewitching me,” he stressed.

Both the woman and her alleged lover denied Shaningwa’s allegations. 

OTA secretary Frans Enkali told New Era that they currently do not deal with matters related to witchcraft.

“If one has to deal with such matters, we need to have someone with the capacity to prove evidence that it is true that there is witchcraft present,” he said.

 Enkali said regarding the alleged cheating mate denying the allegations, it is his right to deny or confirm such.

“You cannot force a person to confirm something they are denying,” he added.

2023-09-25  Max Heinrich

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