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Infanticide accused remains in custody

2022-11-29  Maria Amakali

Infanticide accused remains in custody

A Windhoek resident, accused of killing her 11-day-old infant and further trying to strangle to death her seven-year-old son, will remain in police custody after her attempt to be released on bail failed.

Yesterday, Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute dismissed the bail appeal of Jennifer Shipanga, who claimed the Katutura Magistrate’s Court erred in refusing her bail on 15 July.

The court is yet to give reasons for its dismissal order.

Shipanga is facing a count of murder, attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. 

The prosecution is alleging that Shipanga killed her 11-day-old infant by hitting the baby’s head against a door and strangling her seven-year-old son until he was unconscious. 

During the same incident, she also assaulted her grandmother by hitting her with fists and biting her face and hands. 

The incident took place at their family home in Katutura, Windhoek, on 3 March 2022.

In her bail appeal, Shipanga’s lawyer Jermaine Muchali argued the lower court failed to properly assess the matter. 

He said there is a huge possibility that Shipanga might not be convicted on the charges, as she lacks criminal liability due to non-pathological insanity, caused by excessive cocaine and prescribed medication. 

He further said the lower court erred by dismissing Shipanga’s medical report, proving she had been attending counselling sessions with a social worker. Furthermore, she does not have a violent history.

Muchali’s argument was based on Shipanga’s testimony during her failed bail application, where she confessed to having taken cocaine on the day of the incident. 

According to her testimony, she started using drugs in 2018, but it was not on a daily basis. 

She claims to have never harmed her children or anyone else. 

She further testified that on the date of the alleged incident, she had smoked cocaine the whole day and had further taken prescribed chronic medication without eating.

This, she, claimed led to her paranoia, where she felt threatened. 

At some point, she allegedly blacked out and could not recall what happened thereafter.

However, prosecutor Johannes Kalipi said the lower court was right in refusing bail to Shipanga. 

He said Shipanga’s violent conduct took place in the grandmother’s house, where she attacked her own children, one of whom lost her life. 

According to Kalipi, considering all the facts, granting bail would not be in the interest of the public, as life should be protected at all cost and the family were supposed to feel safe in their home.

He further argued that Shipanga is a threat to the general public or the maintenance of public order. 

Thus, it was just for the lower court to refuse her bail on the said grounds.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-11-29  Maria Amakali

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