“I AM sorry my son … I am sorry my son.”
Those were reportedly the last words 66-year-old Maria Akwiillinus uttered before she died of wounds allegedly inflicted on her by her 38-year-old son on Sunday.
Police spokesperson Lineekela Shikongo said Akwiillinus from the Ongali village in the Oshikuku constituency of the Omusati region, Namibia, died after her son chopped her several times with a panga.
The 38-year-old suspect, who is now in police custody and cannot be named until he appears in court, turned on his mother when she reprimanded him for assaulting his girlfriend, the mother of his eleven-month-old son.
Akwiillinus’ youngest daughter, Loini Shigwedha (26), said she was at home a few metres from her brother’s homestead when her mother went to the suspect’s house, accompanied by a neighbour, Anisia Reinhold, to plead with him to stop beating up his girlfriend.
“After my mother left for my brother’s house, there was commotion, and I overheard my mother screaming saying ‘I am sorry my son’ before suddenly falling silent,” Shigwedha explained.
Akwiillinus’ cousin and neighbour, Monika Amuthenu (68), said she was one of the first people to arrive at the scene after the incident.
Amuthenu said she asked police officers to allow her to view the deceased’s body before it was taken away to the mortuary.
“They were reluctant, but eventually gave in. What I saw was shocking. Both her hands were completely severed, and she had a wound in the face, and another deep wound to the neck behind her head,” Amuthenu said.
Akwiillinus’ other daughter, Benonia Taakondjo Ashipala (34), who also claimed to have viewed her mother’s body, corroborated the state of the injuries inflicted.
The suspect’s girlfriend, Lovisa Henock (30) said her boyfriend was angered when he found her at his mother’s homestead on Saturday evening because he and his mother were not on talking terms.
Henock added that he promptly assaulted her, but she managed to escape. The beating, she said, continued when he later caught up with her.
“I hid in the nearby bushes, and he took the baby with him and went home. The baby cried the whole night, and I decided to go home. When I entered the sleeping room, he locked the door and treated my swollen face with ointment.
“He did not want me to go outside, perhaps fearing that I would go to the police. He only unlocked the door when his mother arrived on Sunday morning,” she said.
The Namibian understands that Akwiillinus had spent Saturday at Oshikuku, and was only informed the next morning about what had happened at her homestead while she was away. She then decided to go and plead with her son to stop abusing his girlfriend.
Henock said when Akwiillinus arrived at the suspect’s house, he opened the door and walked towards his mother, holding a panga. That is when she managed to run away, leaving the son attacking his own mother.
Shikongo said the suspect initially fled the scene of the crime, but later handed himself over to the police at Oshikuku.
Police officers were still collecting sworn statements from witnesses when The Namibian visited the deceased’s homestead yesterday.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court today. He faces a charge of murder.