Brutal child abuse shocks villagers

Niël Terblanché

A 94-year-old traditional headman residing in the Otambo Yakawali Villigae and his girlfriend have been arrested on charges relating to child abuse after they kept a little girl chained to the side of a house for days on end.

According to a report about the flagrant abuse of a minor child provided by Oshikoto Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Teopolina Kalompo-Nashikaku, the nine-year-old victim was rescued by members of the Namibian Police after neighbours saw her walking around cuca shops near her home with heavy steel chains around her waist and legs last Saturday.

The report states that the girl held in these abhorrent conditions because she was allegedly was prone to stealing items from neighbouring houses and a nearby school.

Upon their arrest, the nonagenarian man and his 56-year-old girlfriend told investigating officers that they chained her down because they are unable to look after the little girl because of their age.

They also told the investigating officers that they were in the process of making arrangements to put the child in the guardianship of one of her other family members who reside in the Ohangwena Region.

The 56-year-old woman is the aunt of the little girl. She told investigating officers that the child’s mother passed away a few years ago and that she has been in her care ever since. Both the headman and his girlfriend made an appearance in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s court on Monday and face charges relating to child abuse. They were released on a warning.

In the meantime, the little girl was placed in a place of safety and is taken care of by social workers.

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