TSUMEB – The Nomtsoub community at Tsumeb is still reeling in shock and disbelief following the brutal rape and murder of a prominent resident of the township.
The victim Martha Gaeses, the 44-year old mother of three children, was found dead behind the Tsumeb Old Age Home by residents of the Nomtsoub location in the early hours of last Thursday.
Unconfirmed reports have it that the deceased, who was seen in the company of friends at a gambling spot the previous night, might have fallen prey to criminals who wanted to rob her of money she may have won at a slot machine. Other reports making the rounds suggest that although she won – the winnings were never paid out to her.
The reports further claim that she was stalked with the intention of robbing her and when her assailants did not find the money on her they took turns to rape her and proceeded to murder her.
According to a police report, the woman was found naked with several stab wounds mostly on the upper part of the body. Also, sources say eight used condoms were found at the scene of the crime indicating that more than one attacker was involved.
The Commander of the Namibian Police in the Oshikoto Region, Commissioner Anne-Marie Nainda confirmed that a murder case, CR 22.07.2012 has been opened, but the suspect or suspects are still at large while police have launched an investigation.
“We are aggressively pursuing this investigation from the word go. Every piece of information or lead is being thoroughly followed. We are also receiving very good cooperation from the public and other stakeholders,” Nainda said.
The police chief expressed optimism that the case would be solved. “We are optimistic that soon a breakthrough will be made. This gruesome and cowardly act is condemned in the strongest terms,” said the police commissioner
The police on Tuesday said they found bloodstains leading to the nearby location of Soweto, which shows that the woman fought her assailants.
Local clinics and hospitals have been alerted to report anybody who was treated recently for injuries.
The police further called on members of the public who may have information related to the incident to come forward and all information will be treated confidentially.
Hilde Guruses, who personally knew the deceased, said she was numb with shock at what she described as a “senseless” loss of life.
“As a mother my heart just goes out to the family,’’ she said.
“It is just incomprehensible, senseless and so unfortunate that she had to die like that. The whole thing is shocking,” she told New Era.
“Nothing like this has ever happened round here before so it’s quite upsetting,” she remarked.
Residents of Nomtsoub are deeply disturbed and saddened by the death of Martha Gaeses, who has been described by those who knew her as a quiet and reserved person.