Mbunza traditional court to adjudicate ritual killing case

Although community courts are not allowed to try persons accused of murder or rape, families can turn to traditional authorities for what is regarded as a ‘wiping of tears’.

11 November 2021 | Crime

Kenya Kambowe


The family of the late Engidius Kayanguya (35) who was found floating in the Kavango River with a number of his body parts – including his testicles – missing, has turned to the Mbunza traditional authority community court for recourse.

This was confirmed by traditional authority chief Alfons Kaundu, who told Namibian Sun that the family submitted names of those suspected to have played a role in his death.

“Yes, my secretary told me that the family of the late Kayanguya have made a request to the community court. They have submitted three to four names of people they want tried,” he said.

Kaundu added that the matter will be heard next Monday at the traditional authority offices at Kapako.

Although community courts are not allowed to try persons accused of murder or rape, families can turn to traditional authorities for what is regarded as ‘wiping of tears’ – not necessarily to find suspects guilty, as that is left in the hands of the police to investigate while a competent court tries the accused.

Rumour has it

Meanwhile, rumours have been making the rounds in Rundu that several people were arrested and taken in for questioning by the police in connection with Kayanguya’s death.

Namibian Sun has been informed that three people were arrested, including a Sauyemwa businessman who is linked to the murder.

However, the police have denied these allegations, saying because the body of was found on the Angolan side of the river, the Angolan police will deal with the matter in collaboration with local police.

“I did not receive information to that effect,” Kavango East police commander, commissioner Johanna Ngondo, responded to the rumours.

The crime

According to a post-mortem conducted on Kayanguya’s body, his testicles were squeezed out, the tip of his penis cut off and one of his nipples sliced off as well, which could be linked to witchcraft where body parts are harvested for certain rituals.

Currently, the only evidence the police have is testimony by the deceased’s friend, who told the police that they illegally crossed into Angola.

According to the friend, the two were arrested by Angolan police officers stationed at Dam Dam border post that Saturday.

Kayanguya escaped from detention after he allegedly asked to go to the bathroom.

The friend paid a fine for crossing into Angola illegally and returned to Namibia, where he learnt Kayanguya had not returned home.

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