Confusion over shack baby

15 May 2019 | Social Issues

The mother of a three-month-old baby girl who the City Police confirmed had died at the end of April after she and her three young siblings were rescued from a shack in which they were locked up alone says her child is alive and well.

Anna de Koker (40), who was briefly arrested on 26 April after the police had broken into her shack after concerned neighbours had reported a possible case of child neglect, says the untrue reports of her daughter's death hurt her deeply.

“I am the mother of these children. I would never toss my children away because their fathers can't support them. I am very proud of my kids and I will raise them until I go to my grave.”

The other children found alongside the baby, whose name is Liana, were a boy (5), a girl (4) and another girl just over one year old.

“I am very hurt. The entire country thinks I am a terrible mother. They say my baby is dead. They say I am a mother who can't look after her children.”

Yet she admitted that without a job and support from the fathers, she is struggling to feed and clothe her children.





“As a mother alone I struggle. I am poor. I have nothing. Not even a pot in which to cook food,” adding, “there is nothing in my house. Not even maize meal. There is only one 25-litre water can that is half-empty.”



Bungled

Namibian Sun's reports were based on multiple confirmations from City Police officers that the three-month-old baby died shortly after she and her siblings had been admitted to hospital. Namibian Sun was informed by the police and others on the scene of the “appalling conditions” in which the children were found, which necessitated an urgent trip to the hospital. Yesterday, City Police officials confirmed they were recently informed the baby was alive and that it had been a case of mistaken identity. Senior Superintendent Nathaniel Nendongo said an overview of the matter indicated a “communication error” had been committed and the faulty information was released to the media.

The mistake resulted from a general report of neglect cases from that weekend, he said, in which a child had reportedly died but the media were incorrectly informed of its identity and to which case the death was connected.



Very hard

De Koker yesterday claimed the police and social workers last spoke to her when she and her children were still under hospital supervision. She said she had agreed to talk to her father, who lives near Mariental, to take the children to him to help care for them.

She claims only her young toddler had shown signs of illness - a throat infection - and that was why they remained in the hospital for a week. Doctors and paramedics at the scene of the rescue stated that all the children had shown signs of neglect, especially malnutrition and dehydration, when they were found and had been kept at the hospital to be treated. Further, the youngest child was naked and only covered by a thin sheet.



Tough job

De Koker told Namibian Sun yesterday she had a job but when she was on maternity leave she was not paid and then the company closed. She denied reports that she had been drinking when the police arrived that night. City Police confirmed she tested 0.80 on a breathalyser. She says she left the children in the care of her 21-year-old daughter and a friend, and had gone to ask a relative for maize meal to feed the children. She says the children were briefly left alone, but were asleep, and when she arrived back the police were there and arrested her. Her arrest was later withdrawn. Namibian Sun was unable to establish whether a case of neglect is still being investigated.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Pregnancies, HIV haunt teens

4 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia is grappling with a stubbornly high national teenage pregnancy rate, which stands at 19%. In the two Kavango regions alone, the teen pregnancy...

ELCRN defends controversial synod

1 week ago - 03 September 2019 | Social Issues

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELRCN) has distanced itself from the violence that broke out during the elections held at its...

Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'

1 month - 30 July 2019 | Social Issues

The Khomas Region recorded 89 school pregnancies in the first term of this year, while 1 002 learners fell pregnant between 2015 and 2018.Ombudsman John...

Vulnerable and alone

1 month - 19 July 2019 | Social Issues

After an initial projection in 2008 that there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021, President Hage...

Hopeless, destitute

3 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

‘Just hunt for another woman’

3 months ago - 12 June 2019 | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWE Gender affairs minister Doreen Sioka has urged men to find another partner when their relationships go...

Alcohol linked to high suicide rate

3 months ago - 29 May 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia has once again been fingered as one of the African countries with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, which could also explain its high...

Deadbeat dads

3 months ago - 21 May 2019 | Social Issues

Although Namibian law holds both parents equally responsible for meeting the basic needs of their children, nearly half of households are run by single mothers,...

Confusion over shack baby

4 months ago - 15 May 2019 | Social Issues

The mother of a three-month-old baby girl who the City Police confirmed had died at the end of April after she and her three young...

Blaauw makes a difference

4 months ago - 14 May 2019 | Social Issues

Mariselle Stofberg and Michelline NawatisesTylo Blaauw has raised funds to have an air conditioner installed at an old-age home and also handed over a cheque...

Latest News

Ndafoluma geared for WBO title

12 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA Namibian boxer Lukas 'The Demolisher' Ndafoluma says he is ready to tame Russia's Apti 'The Tiger' Ustarkhanov in...

Deadly weekend

12 hours ago | Accidents

The deaths of at least 23 people in five car crashes on Friday and Saturday has highlighted Namibia's unresolved road accident epidemic and cast a...

Kamushinda fights on

12 hours ago | Banking

Enoch Kamushinda, described as the mastermind behind the heist at the SME Bank, is continuing his dogged battle to stop the bank's “closure”.In his latest...

Death on wheels

12 hours ago | Opinion

What does one say after such a shocking weekend on our country’s roads that has not been said before?Many have spoken and written about attitudes...

Cold comfort

12 hours ago | Sports

Tokyo 2020 organisers blasted volunteers with fake snow on Friday as they trial ever more extreme ways to beat the heat ahead of the Games.'But...

Good luck, Namibia

12 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA We have only four days to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan. I wish...

McCarthy slams Cape Town City...

12 hours ago | Sports

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy pulled no punches when discussing his team's performance after the 3-3 draw with SuperSport United at the Mbombela Stadium...

Swiss coach celebrates birthday with...

12 hours ago | Sports

Swiss coach Rene Weiler celebrated his 46th birthday on Saturday by debuting as Al Ahly of Egypt coach with a 2-0 win at Cano Sport...

Unam proud of World Cup-bound...

12 hours ago | Sports

The University of Namibia (Unam) Rugby Club has expressed pride that seven of its players were included in the 31-man senior national rugby team that...

Load More