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

 

Fishing company delivers on promise

2 weeks ago - 15 July 2020 | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWEKASOTEA fishing company has delivered on its promise to build a home for a poverty-stricken family of seven at Kasote village in Kavango West.Two...

Blind woman desperate for a home

1 month - 11 June 2020 | Social Issues

ILENI NANDJATOEKOLYANAAMBODue to a lack of centres for people living with disabilities in northern Namibia, those who have been rejected by their families often struggle...

Braille printing centre offers unique service

1 month - 09 June 2020 | Social Issues

ILENI NANDJATOONIIPAThere is a high demand for Braille printing in Namibia and only one place that provides this service to blind Namibians - a centre...

Covid-19: May weddings postponed

3 months ago - 28 April 2020 | Social Issues

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAMany people who were planning to get married next month have postponed their weddings because of the coronavirus pandemic, while a few have decided...

Inequality prevails in Namibian House

3 months ago - 14 April 2020 | Social Issues

Ester KamatiWINDHOEKThe slums of Okahandja Park, an isolated location many Namibians call home, is likely to be hit hardest by the effects of the coronavirus.The...

Illegal abortions remain a burning issue

5 months ago - 20 February 2020 | Social Issues

At least 74 persons were arrested for illegal abortions over the past five years, with one woman currently behind bars on a conviction related to...

Hamunyela urges Khorixas women to take threats by men...

6 months ago - 07 January 2020 | Social Issues

Khorixas-based public prosecutor Penda Hamunyela has urged women living in the area to take insults and threats made against them by men seriously, as they...

No place for tribalism, racism – Kawana

6 months ago - 06 January 2020 | Social Issues

Attorney-general Albert Kawana has urged Namibians not to go into reverse gear and compromise the ideals of Namibia's policy of reconciliation. This comes at a...

Making a real difference

7 months ago - 09 December 2019 | Social Issues

Twenty-nine-year-old Anna Tatelo will stop at nothing until her dream of a shelter for HIV children affected by HIV is realised.Equipped with experiences acquired under...

One million live in shacks

9 months ago - 01 November 2019 | Social Issues

The latest count by Namibia's largest community collective has found that close to 40% of Namibians live in shacks - amounting to close to one...

Latest News

Two more CPCs for NSX

18 hours ago | Business

Two capital pool companies (CPC) listed on the Development Board (DevX) of the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) on Friday: Mcube Investments One Ltd and Omajowa...

Another tough year for Nictus

18 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Locally-listed Nictus Holdings’ results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2020 reflect the impact of the ongoing recession in Namibia with...

Familiar faces surface at IPC

18 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFamiliar faces have surfaced in the newly launched Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), which held its founding national convention in Windhoek over the weekend.The...

Seven Covid-19 cases in Windhoek...

18 hours ago | Health

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKWith nearly 100 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Windhoek, there is growing fear about how informal settlements – which so far have seven confirmed cases...

Journalist lands in trouble for...

18 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKNamibia Press Agency (Nampa) journalist Edward Mumbuu has found himself in hot water with his employer after he asked President Hage Geingob a Fishrot-related...

De Beers likely to cut...

18 hours ago | Business

LONDON/GABORONE - Diamond mining giant De Beers is likely to have to cut jobs, its chief executive said on Thursday, as it outlined plans for...

Overview of VAT in Namibia

18 hours ago | Business

The Value-added Tax Act in Namibia imposes a liability to pay VAT on (a) every taxable supply of goods and services and (b) every import...

Journalism increasingly under threat in...

18 hours ago | Opinion

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This quote, often attributed to French philosopher...

Kunene commits on service delivery...

18 hours ago | Economics

The most fundamental reason for the existence of any government is to ensure the provision of housing and land to its people.This was said by...

Load More