Shannon: Suspected killer in court

12 October 2020 | Crime

LEANDREA LOUW



WALVIS BAY

Azaan Madisia (28) made her first appearance in the Walvis Bay magistrate’s court on charges of murder and obstructing and defeating the course of justice.

The former Duneside High School learner is the number one suspect implicated in the disappearance of Shannon Wasserfall (22), who went missing on 10 April from Kuisebmond.

Human remains presumed to be Wasserfall’s were found last week following an anonymous tip-off, and sparked countrywide protests demanding justice under the #JusticeForShannon campaign.

The remains were sent to Windhoek for forensic tests to determine whether they do indeed belong to Wasserfall.

Madisia – whom friends described as a having been one of the top learners at her school prior to matriculation - appeared without legal representation before magistrate Rhivermo Williams and was denied bail due to the seriousness of the charges.

‘Born-again’

“She was a born-again in Jehovah’s Witnesses and always wore long dresses. She didn’t even date guys because she was never interested in those things,” a former schoolmate said of Madisia.

According to public prosecutor Maggy Shinyagaya, there is a possibility that other suspects may be arrested regarding Wasserfall’s disappearance.

The case has been postponed to 7 December for further investigations.

A weeping Madisia covered her face while waiting for the police to escort her to the holding cells in Narraville.

Nationwide protests

Residents turned up in numbers in Swakopmund on Friday, protesting and later storming the Swakopmund police station, demanding justice for Wasserfall and countless other women and children who have suffered the same fate.

Protests took a nasty turn over the weekend when the police reserve force pelted youth with tear gas and arrested about 25 of them, which included journalists, in Windhoek.

Protestors also marched through Narraville in Walvis Bay on Saturday to the Kuisebmond police station.

They planned to hand over a petition to the station commander, but since the correct procedure of three days’ notice was not followed, it was not accepted.

‘We are tired’

According to the petition, gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations in all sectors of society.

“The killing of women and children by men is another pandemic raging in our country. This is a present and consistent threat to women, yet our media, communities and government responses do not consistently reflect this. Gender-based violence (GBV), specifically violence against women, has infiltrated all aspects of the lived experience of a woman. It is present in schools, homes, community and the public sector.”

The petition also said Namibia has been slow to respond and current attempts at addressing GBV have been haphazard and uncoordinated.

“Women are not safe in public places or even in their own homes. It is the belief of the Enough is Enough group that in order to address GBV and femicide, we are in desperate need of effective government services, leadership and coordination. If law enforcers won’t do anything about it, we might as well take justice into our own hands. We are tired.”

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