Details emerge in councillor's assault case

06 January 2020 | Justice

A Christmas get-together at Arevesheneka village in Kavango East led to the arrest of Ndiyona Constituency Councillor Eugen Likuwa and his wife Clementine Mpande, after the couple fought in full view of partygoers at a local shebeen.

The shebeen, locals say, belongs to a prominent resident of Kavango East who called Likuwa to join in a Christmas party.

Likuwa and his wife hail from Rucara village in the same region.

Upon arrival at Arevesheneka, a quarrel erupted between Likuwa and his wife, who is said to have been unhappy with the way her husband interacted with some female patrons at the party. Clementine was so furious she went to sit alone, those present told Namibian Sun.

She was later convinced to re-join the group.

“When the wife returned to the group, she said certain things to the ladies who were in attendance and then they went to report it to the councillor,” a witness said.

The source alleged that it was then when Likuwa confronted his wife and an altercation ensued.

It is further alleged that Likuwa's sister, who had arrived at the party in the company of the couple, joined the fray and had a physical altercation with Clementine.

It is said that it was at that point when Likuwa lost his cool and assaulted his wife, after which he drove off and went home alone.

According to the police report, Likuwa allegedly slapped and punched Clementine.

Namibian Sun established that Clementine went to spend the night at a relative's house while Likuwa's sister walked home after the incident. The source said Likuwa's sister went to the police the next day and opened a case of assault against Clementine for slapping her in the face.

However, when Clementine got word that her husband's sister had opened a case against her, she decided to open a case against her husband for assaulting her.

Both Likuwa and his wife were subsequently arrested.

They both made their first court appearance last week Monday and Clementine was released on warning while Likuwa was denied bail and had to remain in police custody till Friday when he was granted bail of N$5 000.

Likuwa then made a formal bail application at the Rundu Magistrate's Court within 24 hours after his first court appearance.

This caught the prosecutors off guard, who were not ready to cross-examine Likuwa and the three witnesses brought by the defence team.

The State only presented the investigating officer in court on Friday.

On Friday, Likuwa's lawyers presented a statement in which Clementine indicated she was withdrawing the charges against her husband.

The State objected to the court accepting the withdrawal statement because the complainant's signature on the document differed from that when she opened the case.

The withdrawal statement was then set aside and the formal bail hearing continued.

Magistrate Olaiya also ordered that Clementine be cross-examined on what conditions should be placed on her husband's bail.

When asked whether they should be separated until the case was completed, Clementine told the court that it would not be in the best interest of their children as Likuwa is the sole breadwinner in their home.

It was revealed in court that Likuwa has eight children, three of them with his wife.

Likuwa was not present in court on Friday. His counsel presented a letter from the Nyangana hospital which indicated that he had been admitted for an unspecified illness.

Magistrate Hellen Olaiya then granted the embattled 49-year-old councillor bail of N$5 000.

He faces a count of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and another count of assault by threat because he allegedly threatened to kill his wife.

Both counts were read in conjunction with the Domestic Violence Act. The matter was postponed to 20 April for plea and trial.


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