Murder Suspect Confined to Psychiatric Ward

The shocking case, in which a mother allegedly murdered and roasted the body of her disabled daughter, could not proceed in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court yesterday, since the suspect had to be confined to the psychiatric ward of the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

Oshana Police Regional Commander Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa told New Era that the police took the 49-year-old mother and schoolteacher at Shapwa Primary School to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital after she started displaying symptoms of mental illness. “When we put her in the cells she started to show that she was not mentally stable and that was when we decided to take her to the hospital. She was admitted in ward 16,” explained Kashihakumwa. It is believed that on Saturday the suspect murdered her 26-year-old daughter, who was confined to a wheelchair and was speech and mentally impaired, by hacking her with a panga and burning her corpse to ashes by fuelling the fire with an assortment of household appliances, which she allegedly claimed to be infested by demonic spirits.

“When she was shown her daughter’s remains after they were removed from the barbeque stand, she did not show any sign of remorse. She said she doesn’t know what happened to her daughter, because she was not at home when everything took place,” he said. “A mother who is of a sound mind, would start crying when looking at the body of her child,” said Kashihakumwa.

Police officers at the Ongwediva police station said prior to the murder the woman went to the police station complaining that her doctor had given her “wrong medication” and that she needed the assistance of the police in the matter. “She said she needed police assistance, but when we aised her to go back to the doctor, she started questioning us, demanding to see our letters of appointment. The strange thing is that she was calm all along and one would not have suspected that she could be dangerous,” said one police officer.

The pastor of the Four Square Church in Ongwediva, which the accused joined in 1997, including neighbours all described the accused as a friendly person. According to one neighbour the behaviour of the accused only started changing in the past few days and at times she would not even respond to greetings. “One day, she was watering a plant in her yard and I greeted her three times without receiving any response,” said the neighbour. Pastor Festus Negumbo described the accused as a friendly person.

“She was a friendly person, but lately she has been isolating herself. She has not been forthcoming in discussions, she was very brief and often when asked whether there was something troubling her she wouldn’t disclose anything,” related Negumbo. He also dismissed rumours that the accused was told by the Christ Embassy Church that her daughter was a ghost and that they do not pray for such things. “In the church we teach people reality, morality and how to relate to one another and before God and not to see other human beings as demons. I don’t think that any truthful church has the ability to say that to someone, who is seeking healing,” stressed Negumbo.

According to him throughout the time that the accused has been actively involved in the church she has never mentioned any incident to him involving the Christ Embassy Church. He said the church does not preach doctrines of witchcraft or demons that are now being touted as the cause for the gruesome murder. “The accused has several times brought her daughter along to church and she would lie in the church. If that was the case, the church would never have allowed the daughter into the church,” emphasized Negumbo. According to him the church had also counselled the accused on how to live with and to support a disabled child, because it is the responsibility of the church, according to Negumbo.

Source : New Era