'Councillor punched me till I coughed blood'

Political heavyweights turned up at the Rundu Magistrate's Court yesterday to support a regional councillor charged with assaulting a woman.

01 July 2020 | Justice

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU



Kristine Tjarura Likakatere (63), who was allegedly assaulted by her cousin, Rundu Rural constituency councillor Michael Shikongo, says she was slapped and punched in the face until she coughed up blood.

This followed a heated quarrel over a plot of land, Namibian Sun was informed.

Shikongo, who made his first court appearance in the Rundu Magistrate's Court yesterday after he was arrested on Monday for the alleged assault at Tyeye village last week, was granted bail of N$3 000 and the matter was postponed to 18 October for plea and trial. He appeared before Magistrate Sonia Samupofu.





The State did not oppose bail and Shikongo was represented by Thomas Appolus from Thomas Appolus Incorporated.



Big Swapo support

In the court gallery were his Swapo comrades such as Kavango East regional governor Bonifatius Wakudumo, Kavango East Swapo coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi, Nkurenkuru Constituency councillor Damian Nakambare as well as Swapo Party Youth League Kavango East secretary Anselm Marungu, who showed up in solidarity of the accused.

It was a dramatic turn of events at court as Shikongo was sneaked into the courtroom while the door of the gallery was closed until his court appearance was concluded.



The victim's ordeal

Prior to opening the case, the victim spoke to Namibian Sun last week Friday, shedding light on what allegedly led to Shikongo assaulting her.

Likakatere narrated her story at the Rundu hospital after undergoing a medical check-up two days after the incident.

Her face was swollen and she could hardly speak.

Likakatere said the quarrel stemmed from a land dispute where a relative of hers is claiming to be the owner of a piece of land she had cleared and turned into a field.

She said the relative claimed ownership of the land, an assertion which Likakatere said she did not dispute. She however wanted about N$9 000 in compensation for developing the land.

“I told him that if he wants the piece of land, he must compensate me for it as I had to get people to clear the land and other developments on the land,” she said.

According to Likakatere, it appears the relative opted not to pay her and turned to the councillor, who is also known as Sitaura, to intervene.

She said Shikongo then confronted her on Wednesday last week, and thereafter assaulted her.

“He (Shikongo) came and while we were arguing he slapped and punched me three times on the chest. I was coughing blood when he left,” she said.

The victim said she only sought help on Friday when she was brought to Rundu, after which she went to open against a case against Shikongo.

When asked whether she knew that her cousin would be arrested if she opened a case against him, Likakatere said she was aware of the consequences.

“If he has to go to jail, so be it. He hurt me and I want justice for it,” she said.

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