11 December 2012

Namibia: Baby Dies in Arson Attack

MARGARET Mensah-Williams, the regional councillor for the Khomasdal North Constituency, has described an incident in which a seven-month-old baby was set alight and burnt to death as barbaric.

She appealed to the judiciary to show no mercy and “take very stern measures” against the perpetrators.

The baby boy, Jaden //Naomab, burnt to death in a shack on Otjomuise after unknown suspects threw a burning object into the shack and fled.

It is suspected that the suspects had tried to break into the dwelling. When they did not succeed, they set the shack on fire.

Detective Chief Inspector Barry de Klerk said the incident took place at about 02h15 on Thursday.

A 21-year-old woman and five children, including the seven-month-old baby, were in the shack at the corner of Beijing and Kitchener streets.

The woman told the police that she had heard people trying to break down the door, De Klerk said.

After unsuccessfully struggling to get into the house, the suspects threw a burning object into the house and fled.

This set the shack alight in an instant, the woman told the police.

She woke up the children and tried to get them out of the burning shack, but could not save the baby. By the time the fire brigade arrived, the baby had burnt to death.

De Klerk could not confirm reports that the suspects were after cash from the sale of electricity vouchers, which was believed to have been kept in the shack.

He said the suspects are unknown and still at large.

According to him, the police are awaiting forensic results to determine what the object was that caused the fire.

Mensah-Williams said: “The mere fact that you want to see people roasting in a shack is sick. You need help.”

On December 4 at about 22h15, a woman and her three children were robbed of N$16 330 in cash in Havana.

De Klerk said an armed man barged into the house and assaulted them. He also fired several shots in the house.

He fled with the money the woman had made from the shebeen she is running from her house.

The suspect remains at large.

On the same day in Windhoek West, a nurse from Omaruru who was visiting a friend committed suicide at the friend’s house.

The friend left Sofia Regina Katuudu at home when she went to work and when she came home, the door was locked. When the door was broken open, Katuudu’s body was discovered in the bathroom.

De Klerk said there was no suicide note but also no signs of foul play.

On Sunday, a passerby discovered the body of an unknown man hanging from a tree in the Northern Industrial Area.

By yesterday, the man had not been identified.

De Klerk asked the public to help identify the body. The man, who is suspected to be between 50 and 55 years old, wore a blue T-shirt, blue jeans, black shoes and a brown hat.

On December 1, a man, Immanuel Nakashole, allegedly grabbed something from a group of men and ran off. They chased after him and caught up with him. He was beaten with fists and kicked all over his body, De Klerk said.

He sustained serious injuries during the attack and was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital where he died the next day.

Although five men were detained for questioning the same night of the incident, they were released because of a lack of evidence linking them to the incident.

The police investigation continues, De Klerk said.

On December 9, Frederick Ortman (19) died after he was stabbed with a broken bottle in the neck at a bar in Babylon the previous day. A suspect has been arrested and is expected to appear in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura today on a charge of murder.

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