Woman pleads for help to rebuild her house

15 March 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

ONAMBIBA

Olivia Mulongeni is eight months pregnant. She survived an attack from her abusive boyfriend with her four-year-old daughter. Mulongeni now pleads for help to rebuild her house.

Johannes Simon (28) allegedly burned down Mulongeni's shack on Wednesday evening at Onambiba, Omatando village in the Ongwediva constituency after an argument.

He fled the scene and was arrested on Thursday. He appeared in the Oshakati Magistrate's Court on Friday on a charge of arson and was remanded in custody. The case was postponed for further investigation.

Oshana police spokesperson Thomas Aiyambo said Simon had a fight with his friends at the cuca shops and Mulongeni was informed and went over to tell him they should go home.

Aiyambo said the couple returned home and a fight broke out between them. Mulongeni ran to the neighbours and was later informed the shack was burning.

Mulongeni told Namibian Sun on Friday that she had endured her boyfriend's abuse for three years.

The beatings, she said, could come at the smallest infringements of his rules. For instance, on this particular day she refused to listen to why he was fighting at the cuca shops and Simon exploded.

“I told him I didn't want to listen to stories. Before I could complete my sentence, he grabbed me by my neck. And we started wrestling while the child watched on,” she recalled.

Mulongeni said she then began to feel weak and asked her four-year-old daughter to run and get help.

“I managed to overpower him because he was drunk and I ran after the child. He ran after us and tried to attack me again. The neighbours stopped him. I told them to keep holding him while we hurry to my brother's bar for safety,” she said.

Mulongeni said before her brother could reach her shack, she got a call from the neighbours that her house was on fire.

For a long time Mulongeni tried to shrug things off, making excuses for Simon and focusing on the things she loved: the times he looked after her and was kind and charming, the occasions when he would take her out, and fix things in the house.

Once the violence started, it was harder to ignore. She said the first time the arguments got intense was January 2020. She was not yet pregnant at the time and had decided to leave.

“But the parents convinced me that maybe he just gets jealous easily I should give him another chance. Which I did. The second time he badly hit me I was six months pregnant. We went to his father's house for reconciliation and continued with the relationship. At this point I knew I wanted out. My parents also told me this man would kill me one day. I was just struggling to leave,” she said.



Help needed

Mulongeni, a mother of three has been left destitute and is currently squatting at her brother's house. She needs help to rebuild her house and return to her plot. A double bed, single bed, kitchen cupboards, clothes, suitcases, utensils, gas, identity documents, wardrobe and cupboards are some of the items destroyed in the fire.

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