12 June 2018

Namibia: Church Murder Suspects in Court Today

THE four youngsters arrested in the Ohangwena region on Saturday following the death of a 28-year-old man are expected to appear in the Eenhana Magistrate's Court today.

According to police spokesperson Abner Kaume Itumba, Titus Kaluvi was assaulted by a group of youngsters who turned up uninvited at the Saint Mary's Anglican parish at Odibo where a social event was underway on Friday evening.

Youth choirs from various Christian denominations attended the social evening.

Itumba said the four youngsters were not members of any of the choirs in attendance, and turned up uninvited from the nearby shebeens, wearing caps and holding bottles of alcoholic beverages.

They were apparently angered when Kaluvi demanded that they remove their caps.

Itumba said the suspects went outside, and when Kaluvi tried to close the doors to prevent further disturbances, they suddenly grabbed him and pulled him down. One of them hit him with a piece of wood before they fled the scene.

Kaluvi was rushed to the nearby church hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. Of the four suspects, two are Namibian school dropouts aged 20 and 21, while the other two are Angolans aged 17 and 18.

The Saint Mary's Anglican parish is located near the Namibia-Angola border. Members of the local youth choir have used social media platforms to express their shock and anger. A protest march is being organised to demand that the suspects be denied bail, and punished severely if found guilty.

"We will mobilise all youth choirs in Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto and Oshana for a protest march to express our anger, demand heavy penalties for the accused and also demand police protection during our social evenings," said Loth Hamukoto, the Catholic youth chairperson for the Ongha pastoral region.

He said the protest march would most likely be on the day of the suspects' second court appearance.

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