Infanticide accused referred for psychiatric

A mother, who stands accused of strangling her one-moth-old baby to death in 2016, is currently in hospital going under mental observation, to determine if she was of sound mind when she committed the heinous act against her child.

Liina lineekela Shaambeni could not be in attendance in court Wednesday for a mandatory appearance as she has been admitted in Windhoek Psychiatric Hospital for A psychiatric evaluation, according to the prosecution.

Shaambeni is awaiting trial on a charge of murder read with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act for her baby's death. The prosecution alleges on October 17, 2016 at Katutura Intermediate Hospital behind the Nurses' Home in Windhoek, she unlawfully and intentionally killed a one-month-old baby by strangling him with a rope.

Shaambeni's defence attorney Johan van Vuuren asked the court to have Shaambeni observed as she allegedly seemed to be vague, not sure and could not comprehend what was going on. Van Vuuren explained Shaambeni cannot recall what happened on the date in question, thus the need for a psychiatric evaluation.

The mother who is in custody has denied any wrongdoing when she took her preliminary plea. Detective Sergeant Jefta Shikehama, the investigative officer dealing with the case said Shaambeni had confessed to the murder. Testifying during Shaambeni's failed formal bail hearing, Shikehama testified she had said she killed her one-month-old baby because the father had denied paternity.

It is alleged Shaambeni who worked in Luderitz as a bartender, arrived in Windhoek with the patient's bus after she gave birth to a premature baby. The one-month-old baby allegedly disappeared which prompted the nurses to alert the police.

After an interrogation by the police, Shaambeni took the police where she had left her baby. Shikehama testified they found the lifeless body of the one-month old baby with a rope around his neck behind the Nurses Home at the said hospital. Shikehama stated the rope used as a murder weapon came from the baby's t-shirt.

The court postponed Shaambeni's case for mental observation to July 27. Magistrate Alexis Diegardt was presiding with Fillemon Nyau prosecuting.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia