Grandmother Charged with Hanging Grandchild

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By Anna Shilongo

WINDHOEK

A 65-year-old grandmother Mpingana Iita from Okahao village was charged with murder after she allegedly hanged her four-year-old grandchild, Johannes Iita, from a tree last Friday.

According to a police investigating officer, Iita first hanged her grandchild before tying his leg to a tree with a cloth, pretending not to know what the cause of death was.

After the incident, she claimed that she was on her way to fetch water at a nearby well when to her surprise, she found the child dead upon her return.

Iita went to report the case to the nearest police station.

The 65-year-old suspect was arrested the same day and appeared before Magistrate Fredrick Muzakana at the Okahao Magistrates’ Court on Monday, charged with murder. She pleaded guilty, but in a short statement in terms of her plea, Iita said it was not her intention to kill her grandson. She told the court she got tired of her grandchild’s habit of running away from home.

Another reason she gave to the court was that she never wanted the child to follow her to the canal. Asked how she discovered that the child was dead, Iita said she called the child but he didn’t answer.

She also told the investigating officer at the scene that she tied the child’s legs with a cloth while she went to fetch water some few kilometres away from home, but upon her return she apparently found her grandchild dead.

But according to the post-mortem results, the child had wounds on his neck and that could have resulted from hanging.

Iita was granted bail of N$700 and her case has been postponed to February 15, 2008, for further investigation.

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