A 39-year-old woman, charged with murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, in connection with the death of her nephew in 2018, yesterday told the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court she had nothing to do with the crime she is being accused of.
Hilde Kalola made her first appearance before magistrate August Simon following the shocking discovery of the skeletal remains of her nephew Johannes Nghidimbwa at Okakwa in the Ohangwena region last week.
Kalola is accused of assaulting the victim to death before burying his body in a shallow grave in a bushy area within the homestead’s yard in December 2018.
The crime was only reported to the police last week. During her appearance yesterday, Kalola denied committing the crime, further telling the court to ask the victim’s friend about his disappearance. She said she met up with the said friend in custody following her arrest last week Friday. “I have nothing to do with this murder, maybe the court should ask his friend. He is the one who was always with him,” Kalola briefly said. Magistrate Simon informed Kalola that she was not on trial and should wait until then when she will be granted the opportunity to address the court. Simon postponed the matter to 19 May 2021 for further investigation and for the accused to obtain legal representation. Kalola informed the court she would seek the services of a state-funded lawyer. State prosecutor Elphin Maloboka objected to bail citing that investigations are at an infant stage. The state further objected to bail fearing that Kalola will interfere with investigations and state witnesses. Maloboka also further said that it will not be in the interest of the public and that of the administration of justice for the accused to be granted bail as she is facing serious charges.
The chilling murder of Nghidimbwa has sent shockwaves across the country, while the family is still reeling in shock over the incident.
Recalling the events of that fateful night, the victim’s younger brother who was 13 years old at the time, told New Era at the weekend that their aunt had accused the victim of stealing N$500 from her. “When we came home, she started complaining that Johannes had stolen her N$500. She instructed us to catch him and hold him as she tied him to the bed. She instructed us to sit and watch as she started hitting him with an electric cable and some metals all over the body. She also warned us not to sleep throughout the night,” the distraught brother said. “He tortured him from 12h00 at night until 06h00 in the morning… He was screaming, crying, but then he went mute.” The boy, who is now 16, said when their aunt realised that Johannes was no longer moving, she took water and sprinkle it on him. She then asked the children to go and dig a hole in the yard a stone’s throw from the homestead. She apparently told the children that she needed to bury some garbage. She then sent out all the children. “When we returned, John was not there. The blanket where he was lying was also gone and the wheelbarrow was soaked in blood. She told us that he had gone to work at farms in the southern part of the country, and he is not returning… but we later found his clothes burned in the bush. We knew it was his clothes because we found his belt buckle. The dogs also used to dig the grave but it seems that they gave up. When the police came last week to dig up his remains, he was still intact. He did not change… it was him,” said the sobbing boy.