Mother accused of infanticide denies guilt

Windhoek-A mother accused of strangling her one-month-old baby after she experienced problems with the baby's father last year denied guilt when she took the stand in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura on Wednesday.

Liina lineekela Shaambeni, who appeared from custody, pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder in connection with the death of her baby boy without giving any plea explanation.

The no guilty plea is in accordance with my instructions. There will be no defense only when the matter goes to trial, explained Shaambeni's defense attorney, Johan van Vuuren.

The prosecution alleges that on 17 October 2016 at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital behind the nurses' homes in the district of Windhoek, Shaambeni unlawfully and intentionally killed a one-month-old baby by strangling him with a rope.

Although the mother of two has remained silent on the matter, Detective Sergeant Jefta Shikehama, who took the witness stand during her failed formal bail application, informed the court she has confessed to the gruesome murder.

According to Shikehama, the accused gave birth to a premature baby boy in Luderitz and travelled to Windhoek with the patient's bus to Katutura State hospital. The hospital staff allegedly started questioning where her baby was but she decided to stay mute.

They allegedly reported the matter to the police who then started questioning her about the whereabouts of the baby. After a while, the accused allegedly informed the police that she had killed the baby.

She allegedly explained that she took the baby behind the hospital, close to the nurses' homes and killed the baby by strangling him with a rope from his T-shirt. Shaambeni then showed the police where she left her lifeless baby boy.

Upon our arrival at the scene, we still found the rope around the baby's neck, explained Shikehama.

Upon further inquiry, Shaambeni confessed she carried out the gruesome act because the father of the baby refused to acknowledge that he was the father. She further indicated that she had no means to look after the baby although she was a mother to two children already and was employed as a barlady in Rosh Pinah.

Having heard the 911 pleas, magistrate Michelle Kubersky postponed the matter to 23 January 2018 for the prosecutor general's decision.

Shaambeeni was remanded in police custody until her next court appearance.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia