Windhoek-The father arrested on suspicion of killing his daughter by drowning her in Windhoek’s Goreangab Dam, has denied killing her by intentionally throwing her into the dam.
In an interview with New Era after his court appearance on Monday this week, Gabriel Tulinane David said his five-year-old daughter accidentally slipped into the dam, and he had jumped into the water to rescue her, but to no avail.
The 30-year old David, who is employed by the Namibia Defence Force and based at Suiderhof Military base in Windhoek, was arrested on 24 February, in connection with the death of his daughter Cornelia Indileni David, whose body was retrieved from the dam on 21 February.
“He killed the baby and threw her in the dam. He kept sending the mother SMSes that he killed the child,” Namibian Police spokesperson Warrant Police Immanuel Lazarus said this week of the charges levelled against David.
David allegedly collected his daughter on the morning of 19 February from her relatives’ home in Babylon informal settlement, ostensibly to take her to town where they would spend time together. He is alleged to have drowned the child later in the day by throwing her into the dam.
David however denied killing Indileni intentionally saying they were walking together in the vicinity of the dam before she fell into the water.
The incident, he says, happened after they had returned from town and had gone to visit a friend in Goerangab Dam informal settlement.
David told New Era that his daughter vanished while she walking behind him on their way home from Goreangab informal settlement.
“She was walking behind me. She wanted me to carry her. I would stand waiting for her but then she would stop walking, and would I walk on. She would then run behind me,” he claimed.
“We got to the water pipes that are over the dam but she was far. I walked until in the middle and looked behind and Indileni was trailing behind me. I walked till the end of the pipe and when I turned to look behind I couldn’t see Indileni.
I put my plastic down and went back to look for her. I called her and she didn’t answer. I walked back to the path but we could not see her,” he said.
He further added that he jumped into the water to search of Indileni, but to no avail.
Asked how he allowed a five-year-old to walk on a pipe without supervision, he replied, “I thought it wasn’t dangerous and the pipe was wide. I later suspected she must have fallen in the water that’s why I jumped in the dam to look for her.”
David said returned twice to the dam the day his daughter went missing to look for her but couldn’t find her.
He had also gone to Greenwell Matongo and Ombili mobile police station days after Indileni went missing to report a case but stopped in his tracks each time.
David also claims he tried calling Indileni’s mother to tell her that he couldn’t find his daughter but that she cut the call.
David claimed he had returned to the same spot daily since 19 February only to find the area cordoned off by police with crime scene tape on 22 February, and was later informed that the police had retrieved Indileni’s body from the water.
“I went back on Wednesday and found those plastics used at emergency scene and in my mind I thought that Indileni might have fallen in the water,” the father said.
Nevertheless Khomas regional crime investigation coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said police suspect David killed the daughter the same day he collected the child and texted the mother the same day that he had killed her.
Nghishidimbwa said the girl’s body was retrieved from the dam on Tuesday evening around 19h00.
David informed the court he will conduct his own defense. He was denied bail.
Magistrate Bernadine Michelle Kubersky postponed the case to May 10 for further police investigation and taking into consideration the seriousness of the case. Kubersky said David may lodge a formal bail application.