Residents of the village of Oshiyashemanya in Oshikoto Region staged a peaceful demonstration opposing the N$1 000 bail granted to a suspect charged for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl at the village last year.
While the rest of Namibia commemorated the Day of the African Child, villagers, school learners and traditional leaders of Oshiyashemanya village demonstrated against the granting of bail to a suspect implicated in the killing of their fellow villager, learner and daughter.
They marched from Okankondo Primary School to the nearby bush where the lifeless body of Menette Shikongo was found a day after she was brutally murdered, allegedly by the suspect.
Shikongo was killed and raped while on her way to church.
The incident happened on October 18, 2015 and her body was discovered a day later by cattle herders, after her parents had unsuccessfully launched a manhunt for their beloved daughter.
The suspect, 30-year-old Simeon Josef Asheela, who was a cattle herder at the village was arrested and charged with rape and murder.
He was reportedly granted N$1 000 bail on May 23 this year in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court, which angered the community members who charged that it was too early for him to be released on bail of a mere N$1 000.
Their petition was handed to the school board member Martha Indoongo who will hand it to the principal and then to be handed to the director of education.
The victim’s father Simon Shikongo narrated that after Asheela finished raping the young girl he strangled her and pulled her lifeless body deep into the bush. He then went back home and cooked macaroni for lunch.
“When my wife came back from church I asked her where Menette was and she said she was not at church. We then started getting worried about her,” he said.
He further alluded that they started making calls asking all her friends if they had seen her, but the friends only said that the last time she was seen was the time she was at the borehole with Asheela.
However, Asheela apparently insisted that Menette went to church and never came back.
The next morning people started searching for her in vain.
Two cattle herders who were on duty looking after their cattle discovered her lifeless body.
Asheela was arrested the next day following police inquiries. He was granted bail, sparking anger among the community.