The Oshakati High Court came to a standstill when an emotional Simaneka Shipanga paused to shed tears as he spoke about the barbaric murder of his mother who was shot and burnt to death by his father at the family home.
The murder, for which Simaneka’s father the 56-year-old Johannes Shipanga was convicted early this week, read with provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, took place at the couple’s home at Onalulago on June 17 last year. The accused was also convicted of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Fifty-one-year-old Justina Shipanga died at the hands of her husband on that fateful day. Standing before the high court the 26-year-old son told the court he has not only lost a mother, but he and five other siblings also lost a provider.
“Even if he comes home, it would not be the same. I would even fear him though he is my father; I have forgiven him and I love him but he must face the law just like his predecessors,” said an emotional Simaneka.
Simaneka and several others including his 93-year-old grandmother testified against his father in aggravation of sentence.
Simaneka described his father as a short-tempered man who often argued with his late mother.
Simaneka narrated how he one day found blood in their kitchen, however, when he inquired the father said ‘it is blood of a chicken which your mother is going to prepare’.
However, the mother related she was beaten up for an alleged affair with a certain ‘Josef’.
“I want to know the person who told my father that my mother was having an affair because he caused my mother’s death,” related the son.
Shipanga had from the onset pleaded guilty to murder. He had earlier told the court that he was aware of his actions and intentions and that he wanted to kill his wife.
The court also had to pause for a while as it waited for the deceased’s aged mother, Elizabeth Kangulohi, who was assisted by police to get to the witness box.
Kangulohi asked the court to jail her son-in-law for life.
She told the court the death of her daughter has brought her poverty as her other children are pensioners and cannot support her.
“I fainted upon hearing the news and stayed for an hour without talking. It is painful because there was nobody to view, I only saw a casket. I will not recover from this pain. But I plead that he prays for the children he has left to suffer,” said the mother-in-law.
Also testifying, a friend and colleague Albertina Nuuyi told the court that the accused had also previously pulled out a gun and threatened to kill the victim on July 4, 2011.
“He said she was having an affair, although he had no proof,” said Nuuyi.
Nuuyi testified that the deceased was on several occasions beaten because she could not provide the husband with money.
She said her friend of 30 years had often spent her money on settling her children’s school fees.
A brother to the deceased Isack Shigwedha, who also testified, told the court the deceased experienced marital problems since shortly after her wedding, as early as 1988. Which he said led to the deceased’s separation from the accused two months before her demise.
Shigwedha described Shipanga as a violent man, who also used vulgar language towards the deceased.
The case was remanded to next Tuesday to give an opportunity to the doctor who conducted the post-mortem on the deceased to testify and for the accused to testify in mitigation of sentence.
The state was represented by Taodagog Gaweseb, while Shipanga was represented by Lydia Ngipandulua on instructions of legal aid.