Mom's tombstone demolished, dumped in the street

31 July 2019 | Local News

Ondangwa town council management committee chairperson Andreas Kalumbu wants to know what will happen to his mother's remains and grave, after her tombstone was demolished.

A case of malicious damage to property has been opened by Kalumbu against prominent paediatrician Dr Salomo Amadhila, who demolished his mother's tombstone that was erected at her grave in Amadhila's field at Olukolo in Ondangwa.

Amadhila demolished the tombstone over the weekend and threw it in the street. Kalumbu is accused of erecting the tombstone without consulting the landowner, a situation that angered Amadhila.

According to Kalumbu, his mother Maria Iithindi died in 1958 and was buried on the land now owned by Amadhila. In 2017, he decided to erect the tombstone. “In 1958 when my mother died that land was for the late Fillipus Jacob and he allocated a piece of his land as a burial site. The land was later taken over by Amadhila's father, then later Amadhila took over. Eight people are buried there, including my mother. In 2017, I decided to erect a tombstone just for me not to lose touch with my mother's grave,” Kalumbu said.

“Before I erected the tombstone, I took a group of people to accompany me to go and talk with Amadhila about the issue, but I could not get an audience with him, until I decided to erect the tombstone.” Kalumbu said to his surprise, earlier this year he was served with a letter from Amadhila's lawyer informing him that the tombstone will be removed. Kalumbu said he consulted his lawyer, the town council and the traditional authority.

“Now that they have demolished the gravestone, what will happened to my mother's remains that have been there before them? Are they still going to exhume them and for what reason? On 25 April, the Ondangwa town council was served with a letter from government attorney Jabulani Ncube, which said: “We are of the view that Kalumbu has not given compelling reasons for his failure to remove the tombstone.”

It is within Amadhila's right to remove the tombstone. Kalumbu failed to follow the town council regulations.”

Amadhila could not be reached for comment, as Namibian Sun was informed he is out of the country.

Ondangwa CEO Ismael Namgongo said Amadhila's land is within townland.

He said when Amadhila brought the issue to the council, they tried to mediate, but could not prevent any decision or step taken.

“We understand that when Tate Kalumbu took the decision, he did not consult either Amadhila or the town council. According to the town council's cemetery regulations, for one to erect a tombstone it has to be done with the council's consent, but in this case we were not informed,” Namgongo said.

“As a town council, we got involved, but we wanted the two men to solve their issue among themselves. We do not have any say over the land yet, because the owner is not yet compensated.”

Ondonga Traditional Authority councillor Tomas Akwenya said they were informed of the conflict by Kalumbu, but they never met the two men together.

Kalumbu has said he will not take the demolished tombstone.


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