NAMIBIA – One of the Zimbabwean women arrested in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found dumped and burnt in Windhoek over the weekend, told a magistrate yesterday that she was present when her husband killed the girl by beating her to death.
“To an extent, I am guilty,” Caroline Nkata (36) answered after a long pause when magistrate Celma Amadhila asked her how she intended to plead to the charges on which she appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
Another long pause followed when the magistrate asked Nkata if she intended to admit guilt on all three of the charges she is facing. Then Nkata said: “I did not beat the child. All I did was – actually, he forced me to go with him when he went to dispose [of] the body.”
The person she was talking about is her husband, Edward Nkata, she added.
She continued: “He beat the child. When she died, he forced me to go with him when he went to dump the body and later when he went to burn it.”
Nkata and fellow Zimbabwean citizen Rachael Kureva (37) – the mother of the nine-year-old Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho, whose burnt body was found lying in a rubbish skip in Windhoek North on Saturday – appeared in the dock on charges of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, and violating a dead human body.
After magistrate Amadhila informed the two women of their rights to legal representation, Kureva said she wanted to get a lawyer to represent her, while Nkata said she would proceed without a legal representative at this stage.
She then gave her response to the charges to the magistrate.
Having related that her husband beat Natalie and then forced her to help him dispose of the girl’s body, Nkata said that when Natalie was being beaten she (Nkata) was at home, but that she could not say she was forced to be there.
She added: “When he went to buy the paraffin and when he went to dispose [of] the body and burn the body, that’s when he forced me to go with him.”
In the charges that the magistrate read out to Nkata and Kureva, the state is alleging that they killed Natalie on Thursday or Friday last week by beating her to death, and that they dumped her body in a rubbish skip and set it on fire on Friday.
On a request from public prosecutor Adrie Hendricks, who informed the magistrate that the investigation of the matter had not been completed yet, the case was postponed to 17 April.
Hendricks also said the state was objecting to the granting of bail to the two women, as another person is still to be added as an accused in the case, Nkata and Kureva are facing serious charges, there was a risk that they might flee if released, and that it would not be in the interest of the public or the administration of justice for them to be granted bail.
Edward Nkata, who was injured in a road accident when a police van in which he was being transported overturned near Otjiwarongo on Sunday, is still being treated in a hospital.
The Nkatas were arrested after the police stopped a vehicle in which they were travelling at the Okakarara turn-off of the B1 road on Sunday afternoon.
The accident in which Edward Nkata was injured took place while he was being transported to Otjiwarongo.
The police have reported that a surveillance camera recording taken around 21h00 on Friday in the area near where Natalie’s body was found, showed a man and woman moving a wheelie bin along a street.
Enquiries which police officers made in the area led them to a flat in Rhino Park, where the Nkatas, their three children, Kureva, who is employed as a nurse, and her daughter stayed.
According to the police, neighbours reported that the children, and specifically Natalie, had been assaulted on several occasions, and that this had been reported to social services last year. The Namibian