Bizarre scenes as massacre suspect appears

08 November 2019 | Justice

Sem Nauyoma Petrus (26), accused of hacking three members of his family to death with a panga on Tuesday morning, appeared before Magistrate Ilge Rheent in the Ohangwena Magistrate's Court yesterday.

While in the dock, Petrus contorted his body and covered his eyes.

Rheent postponed the matter to Monday and ordered that Petrus be taken to hospital for a medical examination.

Prosecutor Elphins Maloboka told the court that Petrus had been scheduled to be taken to the hospital on Wednesday, but he refused to go. According to information obtained by Namibian Sun, Petrus was acting aggressively and requested to be taken to hospital. Once he was removed from the cell he first tried to run away and then refused to go to hospital.

“I am requesting the accused to be taken to hospital before we proceed with the matter. There is no way I can read him his rights and the counts he is facing while he is in that state. The case has been postponed to Monday,” Rheent said yesterday.

Petrus is facing three counts of murder, one case of attempted murder and eight counts of malicious damage to property.

He ran amok at Epatululo village near Onhuno in the Ohangwena Region in the early hours of Tuesday.

He allegedly murdered his mother, Vilgenia Teofelus (61), his brother Simon Petrus (30), who was trying to rescue his mother, and his one-year-old niece Ndapandula Ndahalaovanhu Hafeni.

Another child, two-year-old Gift Rejoice Petrus, was grievously wounded when the suspect chopped off her left leg and two fingers of her left hand. She is being treated at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

Not even the family's pets and livestock were spared. Petrus allegedly killed a dog and eight goats with the same panga before following the two surviving children, who had fled to a neighbour's house.

When the police arrived they found the bodies of the two adult victims lying on the ground within the homestead, while the two children were found in a bedroom.

According to the police the seriously injured two-year-old girl was taken to the Engela district hospital, from where she was rushed to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

The other two surviving children, aged nine and seven, who escaped death by running to the neighbour's house, are currently in the care of a social worker.

According to Petrus's sister, Olivia Petrus, he had told them that he had been seeing lots of people surrounding their house since Sunday.