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Beaten, burnt for ‘stealing’ bread and peanut butter

Written by on May 19, 2024

…69 children subjected to abuse from January 2023 to March 2024

When Weckson Amunyela (8) vanished after school, his disabled father Timoteus Amunyela (44) feared the worst.

As the sun went down at Okalale village in the Omusati region on Friday, 3 May and Weckson had still not returned, Amunyela worried that he had drowned in one of the nearby wells.

Amunyela searched for Weckson all night long. At about 12h00 the next day, Amunyela discovered that his son was not lost, but was held captive at a neighbour’s house.

Speaking to The Namibian on Tuesday, Amunyela said Weckson endured a vicious beating with an electric cord and suffered burns on his back inflicted with hot water.

Omusati police regional commander commissioner Ismael Basson identified the attacker as Amoni Iindongo (20), who appeared in the Okahao Magistrate’s Court last Friday. He remains in custody and his case was postponed to 9 June.

Weckson is in a stable condition in the Okahao District Hospital.

His case is but one of many child abuse cases reported recently.

Namibian Police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said 69 children were subjected to cruelty, ill treatment and neglect from January last year to March this year countrywide.

She described the figures as “worrisome”.


Okalale village headman Johannes Shipalanga told The Namibian this week the village is saddened by the incident.

“It is not right.”

Shipalanga said the village last received drought relief food in March.

Tsandi constituency councillor Junias Amunkete said he, alongside schools, church leaders and police officers in the constituency, have started engaging in community meetings to sensitise residents to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

Office of the Prime Minister executive director I-Ben Nashandi said cases of food scarcity should be reported to regional councils for appropriate interventions as drought relief food is delivered to the regions on a daily basis.


Last month, Oshana police spokesperson chief inspector Thomas Aiyambo said a boy (9) had been raped, assaulted and burnt in the face by his biological mother (37).

In March, Omusati head of criminal investigations deputy commissioner Moses Simaho said a boy (5) from Omaku village was burnt by a woman (35) for stealing sugar.

A case of attempted murder was registered against her.

The boy sustained serious injuries on both hands, feet, thighs and legs, said Simaho.

In February, a boy (5) died after he was allegedly beaten with a belt by his mother for stealing his grandfather’s cellphone at Onegandjo village in the Oshikoto region.

The deceased was identified as Johannes Immanuel.

Earlier this month, a mother from Windhoek was filmed assaulting a girl (13) for allegedly taking a spoon to a neighbour’s house.

Kauna Shikwambi


In March last year, a man (51) appeared in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court on charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and child abuse, read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, after he reportedly abused his niece (15) at Onekaku village in the Oshikoto region.

At the time, regional police spokesperson chief inspector Ellen Nehale said the suspect beat the victim with his fists and kicked her all over her body, resulting in swollen eyes and bruises on her arms and hands. The suspect placed a chain around the victim’s neck, locked it with a padlock and left the girl in the bush.

In April last year, Johannes Kanime (94) and his partner Ndeshihafela Immanuel (56) were arrested and charged with child abuse for allegedly abused their granddaughter (9) by chaining her to a tree at Otambo ya Kawali village in the Oshikoto region.

In September 2022, Hileni Simon (26) from Onakahama village in the Oshikoto region, was arrested for burning two children, aged five and six.

The police said Simon was employed to take care of the children while their parents were away. She allegedly held their hands over a fire because she was angry with them.

Simon was charged with child abuse and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.



In November 2022, Takatu Saparo (22 months) was allegedly raped and beaten to death by a man (40) at Iitananga-Omukuku village in the Omusati region.

In January 2020, the Namibian Police apprehended three Zimbabwean suspects in connection with the murder and burning of a girl (10) in Windhoek.

In August 2019, a boy (13) from Okambonde in the Oshikoto region was chained around the waist and left leg for nine days by a man (63) for stealing sweets from a tuck shop.

Gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare minister Doreen Sioka referred The Namibian to the ministry’s spokesperson Lukas Haufiku, who did not answer questions sent to his email or calls to his mobile phone.


Shikwambi told The Namibian yesterday no child deserves any kind of abuse and the police are engaging with the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, the United Nations Children’s Fund, ChildLine Lifeline and others to address the scourge through counselling, community gatherings, and one-on-one sessions with identified suspects and victims.

“Unfortunately, in most concealed incidents, the police are the last to know and by then, damage is done. In most cases, victims remain silent for fear of reprisal, further abuse or victimisation.

Risk factors include a history of being abused or neglected as a child, physical or mental illness, family crisis or stress, unemployment, family isolation, alcohol and drug abuse and inadequate parenting skills, she said.

“Child abuse and neglect must be stopped, because the chances that these children will end up being abusers themselves is also high,” Shikwambi said.


A common form of child abuse is when orphaned children or those taken in by family members are used as domestic workers or nannies to care for other children while they are in need of care themselves, Shikwambi said.

“It really calls for concerted efforts (police/community/social workers) to consult and educate all, including the children, to be safe and protected from all forms of harm and danger.”

Social worker Sofia Negonga said: “Some people believe beating is discipline because that’s how they were raised. Nowadays, that’s child abuse.

“Talk to the child. Raise a child in a positive manner. Tell them what is expected of them and tell them what is not expected,” she said.

The post Beaten, burnt for ‘stealing’ bread and peanut butter appeared first on The Namibian.

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