Babysitter not guilty of toddler’s murder

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Magdalena Narib, 30, walked out of court a free woman on Monday following her acquittal by Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi.

Narib, a nanny and mother of three, was facing a charge of murder, following the death of one-year-old Hope Mbimuii Uhongora, who had been in her care in 2015.

Magistrate Velikoshi explained that based on the evidence presented and the witnesses who took the stand there was no evidence that provided proof that Narib caused the injuries that led to the death of the baby.

Velikoshi thus found Narib not guilty on a charge of murder and acquitted her.
“There are no eye-witnesses who can attest that the accused caused the injuries that led to the death of the deceased,” Velikoshi noted, adding that, even the substantial summary of facts contained on the charge sheet does not indicate how the accused committed the offence and thus seemed incomplete.

According to the prosecution, on February 22, 2015 Narib intentionally caused the death of baby Uhongora while the infant was in her care in Khomasdal, Windhoek. Narib has, however, denied guilt throughout.

The post-mortem report indicated that the deceased was struck by a blunt force object on the chest, which was found to be the point of impact. Baby Uhongora died as a result of a slash to his liver and further sustaining six fractured cartilages on his ribcage.

The doctor who conducted the post-mortem did not rule out the possibility that the deceased might have fallen on a blunt object, thus injuring himself in the process.

“The doctor stated that the deceased would have died within minutes or an hour after sustaining the injuries. However, the baby died hours after being placed in the mother’s care,” Velikoshi observed.

The deceased’s mother during her testimony informed the court that she did not see any external injuries when she took the baby from the accused. The doctor, however, indicated that the injuries would have been visible and hard to miss since they were still visible three days after his death.

Velikoshi dismissed the State’s version that the accused might be responsible on the ground that the nanny apparently did not seem affected by the news the baby had passed away.

“The State needed to establish the nexus between the death of the deceased or injuries that caused his death, or any omission on the part of the accused that will indicate that the accused caused the injuries,” Velikoshi ruled.

Narib was represented by defence lawyer Max Lameck, with Erastus Hatutale prosecuting.

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