Woman fights for her life after panga attack

10 November 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA



ONGWEDIVA

Maria Shilongo (45) narrowly escaped death after her husband Ferdinand Festus Nghidipo assaulted her with a panga yesterday morning.

She is now fighting for her life at Oshakati State Hospital. Nghidipo (51) brutally hacked Shilongo with the panga five times before proceeding to hang himself in their bedroom during the wee hours of Tuesday morning – in full view of their three children aged seven, eight and 10.

The couple got married in 2000. Shilongo is a housekeeper while Nghidipo does odd construction jobs. She survived the attack with a gash to her face, right shoulder and right thumb, and two to her head.

Oshana police spokesperson Inspector Thomas Aiyambo said the incident happened at around 01:20 at Ongwediva’s Sky Phase 1 Location. The couple had reportedly been arguing recently because the man accused his wife of having an affair.

He said before the incident took place, their children heard their parents arguing in their room.

This, Aiyambo said, was before the man hacked his wife with the panga. “After the man cut his wife, he took his own life by hanging in their sleeping room with a rope,” [sic] he said.

He did not leave a suicide note. An inquest docket has been opened.

Horrific scene

Nghidipo’s older sister Christofina Festus Nghidipo told Namibian Sun yesterday that she arrived at the deceased’s house around 02:00 when one of the older children showed up at her house, shaken.

She said the children told her what happened and asked her to call the police. She rushed back to the house but could not go inside until the police arrived.

“When the police came and we all went in the house, Maria was lying in a pool of blood. The floor was bloody and it looked like she crawled from the main bedroom to the children’s room for refuge. She could not talk so she didn’t say anything,” Christofina said.

Hid issues well

She could not confirm the infidelity accusations in the police report, saying as a family they were not aware of any issues between the two.

“If they had any troubles, they hid them so well from us. On Saturday, they even went to visit her father-in-law so they could tell him about their kitchen party (iitala pepata) slated for December,” she said.

By yesterday afternoon, Shilongo was doing much better, responding to greetings from those visiting her and awaiting surgery to close her wounds.

Christofina said the doctors informed the family Shilongo she has a good chance of survival as the panga cuts, although very deep, didn’t reach her brain.

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