Woman nabbed for Wasserfall’s murder

09 October 2020 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES and LEANDREA LOUW



WINDHOEK/WALVIS BAY

A woman, identified as the godmother of Shannon Wasserfall’s child, has been arrested and is being questioned in connection with remains discovered at Walvis Bay on Tuesday, believed to be Wasserfall’s.

The remains were found in a shallow grave at the coastal town.

The discovery was made after an anonymous text message was sent to Wasserfall’s father Tega Matheus and the Erongo police.

News of the arrest was revealed yesterday by Commissioner Moritz !Naruseb, head of the police’s criminal investigation directorate, who said the suspect, if charged by today, will make her first court appearance by latest Monday.

According to him, more suspects are expected to join the line-up depending on evidence the police manage to gather in the next few days.

Murder, defeating the ends of justice

!Naruseb said given the circumstances under which the remains were found, cases of murder and defeating the ends of justice were opened.

“A joint investigation of senior detectives from Windhoek and Walvis Bay are leading the investigation to establish the cause of death. However, this may take longer than expected because the office of the Forensic Science Campus has moved to a new building,” he said.

‘We are tired’

These developments follow a march by young Namibians who took to the streets in Windhoek and Walvis Bay in protest of Wasserfall’s death and the escalating number of rapes and femicides in the country.

The group demanded a state of emergency declaration regarding femicide and sexual and gendered violence.

They also demanded the prioritisation of a sexual offenders registry and that it be made available to critical and interested bodies, particularly those working with women and children.

One of the latest incidents include the rape of a two-week-old baby who died hours after being raped by her own father.

Another incident two weeks ago involved a 12-year-old girl who was raped by robbers in front of her mother and younger sister.

The march was organised under the slogan ‘Shut It All Down’ and ‘Ons is Moeg’ [Afrikaans for “we are tired”], and took a turn for the worse when protestors were teargassed after demanding access to lawmakers at the National Assembly.

Collective trauma

The protest kicked off at Zoo Park in the city centre in full force, with about 400 people in attendance.

The protestors accused the police of lax behaviour and the central government of failing to provide safe communities for women children.

“There is no denying the amount of collective trauma carried by especially women who live in Namibia and the fear that such trauma invites. It is evident from the popular hashtags #AmINext, protests such as the one held earlier this year as well as the constant conversations on, especially, social media, in which Namibian women express their fear and concern,” their petition read.

The protesters, under the leadership of Bertha Tobias, also believes that part of Namibia’s gender-based violence is caused by unpatrolled neighbourhoods, which are unsafe for women.

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