A woman who allegedly brutalised her four-year-old niece on various occasions was recently granted bail in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
Hendrina Hanga, 44, was granted bail of N$1 000 by magistrate Claudia Claasen after being in police custody since August.
Hanga was arrested in August this year. Concerned Okahandja Park residents alerted the police of the girl’s abuse, and the Gender-Based Violence Investigation Unit (GBVIU) took in the girl and Hanga was arrested.
Hanga is the older sister of the girl’s father who lives and works in the north.
It is alleged Hanga, who sells kapana, this year brought the minor from the north to look after her, and for her to start pre-school in the capital. According to neighbours, the girl had stopped attending school following the merciless assaults by her ruthless aunt.
A neighbour previously informed New Era after Hanga’s first appearance that Hanga had claimed she beat the child because she nearly burnt the bed.
The girl had scars on her head and feet from the beatings, according to the neighbour.
The neighbour said she thought the girl must have felt traumatised and anxious around Hanga, because on one occasion the girl vomited while eating, and her aunt made her eat her own vomit.
“To tell you the truth that woman beats the child. She even beats the girl for playing with children in the neighbourhood,” the neighbour said, adding that Hanga had also beaten the minor because she refused to drink milk. Hanga faces a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act. Hanga has denied abusing her niece.
“I beat her recently because she nearly burnt the shack. The shack did not burn down, only the belongings inside,” she informed New Era in August.
The child was placed in a police shelter.
The matter will proceed on December 9. Granny Paulus represented the State.