A male teenager accused of severely assaulting a minor because the child apparently cooked a large portion of porridge has vanished.
Traditional leaders in Amarika have strongly urged the employer of the young man who was expected to appear in a traditional court last Tuesday to bring him to court as soon as possible.
The village headman Amutenya Salomo confirmed the assailant ran away and that he sent a letter to the employer, who also disappeared from the village, to get them to return.
“I wrote a letter to the employer who promised earlier that he would make sure the suspect attends court until its completion, and that he makes sure the suspect reports himself,” he said.
Salomo said that he only learned that the two disappeared when he sent a message to them that they were awaited at court but nobody was at home.
An 18-year-old male is accused of assaulting a minor for allegedly cooking more porridge than was needed.
As a result, the boy sustained a bleeding back and experienced walking difficulties.
He further stayed away from school for two days while he received treatment at a local clinic.
The incident happened on Wednesday last week in Omusati Region.
The suspect is a domestic worker.
It is alleged that the seven-year-old Mwalambange Iyela was brutally assaulted with a fresh mopane stick after he cooked a “huge amount of porridge” at the suspect’s place.
“The suspect asked the underage boy to go cook for him because he was under the influence of otombo, but when the boy finished cooking he beat the child because he apparently cooked more than what they needed to eat,” said the child’s father Abraham Iyela.
Approached for comment, the suspect gleefully told New Era that he assaulted Mwalambange to teach him a lesson that people do not waste food.
“I asked him why he cooked such a large amount of porridge but he could not provide me with a satisfactory answer which then provoked me to beat the hell out of him,” he confidently told New Era when the story broke.
Human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe said customary courts only have jurisdiction over customary matters.
“Assault is a criminal offence, and should be dealt with by the criminal courts and not the customary courts,” said Tjombe.
He said for example, customary courts do not have jurisdiction to sentence someone to a term in prison, so a victim of a crime deserving a prison sentence will not see his or her perpetrator as being appropriately or justly punished.