'I am guilty'

One of the two women accused of murdering a young girl over the weekend claims she was an unwilling accomplice when the body was dumped and set alight in a garbage skip.

30 January 2020 | Justice

One of the female suspects in a horrific child murder says she was forced by her husband to accompany him when he took the victim's body to a garbage skip and set it on fire.

But Carolina Nkata told the court that she was not under duress when she witnessed the murder of the nine-year-old girl whose charred body was found in a skip in Windhoek over the weekend.

The police suspect that the child is Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho, whose passport was the only document they had found in the suspects' house. Nkata and the woman suspected to be Chipombo's mother, Rachel Kureva, appeared before the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday. Magistrate Ndapewa Celma Amadhila postponed the matter to 17 April and reminded the suspects that they had the right to bring a formal bail application in the meantime.



They are accused of murder, obstructing or defeating the course of justice, and violating a dead body.





The third suspect, Nkata's husband, is still in hospital with injuries sustained when the police vehicle transporting them after their arrest overturned on Sunday afternoon.



Kureva, a registered nurse, told the court that she had Legalwise legal insurance and would hire her own lawyer. She did not plead yesterday.



Nkata indicated that she would conduct her own legal defence. When asked to plead, Nkata said she was “partially guilty” and told her version of the events.



In a video clip which circulated this week, Nkata is seen with her husband, dragging a wheelie bin containing the child's body.



She told the court yesterday that she did that against her will but that she was guilty to some extent because she had witnessed the murder.



After a long silence, Nkata said she did not personally beat the child, but had witnessed how the child was murdered.



“I was there when the child died. I was present and he asked me to go with him to discard the body. I think I am guilty... I was present,” she said.



She added, however, that her husband had gone alone to buy the paraffin that he used to burn the child's body.



“When he went to dispose and burn the body he forced me to be with him,” she said.







Risky business



State prosecutor Andrie Jo-ann Hendricks objected to bail, saying the suspects are both Zimbabwean nationals and pose a flight risk because they could easily flee the country.



She also pointed out that they are facing very serious charges and could potentially abscond when there is an opportunity.

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JEMIMA BEUKES

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