No evidence of ritual killing

28 January 2020 | Crime

The police are contemplating DNA tests, if the police kitty allows, to identify the young Zimbabwean girl whose charred remains were found in a garbage skip in Windhoek North on Saturday morning.

The police on Sunday arrested three Zimbabwean nationals in connection with the murder - one woman who is suspected to be the deceased's biological mother and a couple with whom they had lived in Windhoek North.

No post-mortem has been done yet to determine the cause of death and whether the child was dead when she was set alight.

This was confirmed by the head of the investigation, Commissioner Nelius Becker, who said the child was suspected to be Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho.

He added that the woman suspected to be her mother claimed to have been a temporary permanent resident and was employed as a registered nurse at a local hospital and had a toddler who lives with its father.





According to him, so far the only passport they have found in the house was that of the deceased.

The girl's body was discovered between late Friday evening and early Saturday morning by a passer-by, burned beyond recognition in a skip in Windhoek North.





According to the police some of the items found in the bin included a broken broomstick.

“Evidence gathered from neighbours indicated that the deceased child had been assaulted physically on frequent occasions in the past. Neighbours reported the assaults to Social Services who visited there and on that fateful day an audible assault took place,” said Becker.



According to him the police at this stage do not believe the murder was committed by anybody outside this house, and are hard at work to determine how the mother and the couple are related to each other.



Becker also dismissed rumours that the killing was linked to witchcraft and part of a ritual but pointed out that the house was indeed a place of worship.



“There is no evidence that this was a ritual killing. The body was intact although charred. This appears to behave been a secondary way of getting rid of the body. And it appears that he [male suspect] was active in religion and we were told that the children were often told to pray,” he said.



Two other children, aged eight and 11, were found in the house during questioning and were put in the care of Social Services, while the newborn baby of the couple is with its mother in the holding cells.



The father, who sustained serious injuries when the police vehicle overturned after their arrest near Okakarara late Sunday afternoon, is still under police guard in a local hospital



His wife is seen carrying the child on her back in a video clip which shows them dragging a wheelie bin, purportedly containing the girl's body.

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JEMIMA BEUKES

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