Wednesday, 22 July 2015 11:55

NAMIBIA: Katima Child Killer Gets 75 Years in Prison

21 July 2015 - The reason why Katima Mulilo resident Fanny Mahamba strangled a two-year-old girl and broke her neck on 13 February last year was because he did not want anyone to find out that he had raped her.

Mahamba gave this explanation when he admitted guilt on charges of murder and abduction and two counts of rape.

On Friday last week, Mahamba's day of reckoning arrived in the Oshakati High Court, where Judge Herman January sentenced him to an effective 75 years' imprisonment.

"There is no doubt that the crimes committed are horrific and gruesome," Judge January remarked during Mahamba's sentencing. "In my objective view the accused is a danger to society and they deserve permanent protection from him."

Mahamba was merciless towards the two-year-old Namushi Dorkas Pumulo when he abducted her at Katima Mulilo on 13 February last year, raped her twice, and then murdered her, Judge January said.

He told Mahamba (30) it was fortunate for him that the death penalty had been abolished in Namibia and that a sentence of life imprisonment in the true meaning of the term - meaning imprisonment for the rest of a convicted offender's natural life - has been found to be against Namibia's Constitution. In his view, the judge said, Mahamba's case was one where the death penalty or life imprisonment would have been imposed otherwise.

"I mention this for the accused to realise the seriousness of his acts," the judge said.

In the plea explanation that he gave to the court, Mahamba related that he had been drinking at shops at Macaravan West Compound at Katima Mulilo when he saw Pumulo alone and crying. He said he knew the little girl and wanted to take her to her mother - but then changed his mind after he had picked her up and started to walk away with her.

Instead of taking Pumulo to her mother, he decided to take her to an area with tall grass nearby in order to have intercourse with her, Mahamba stated.

Having reached an isolated area with tall grass, he placed the girl on the ground, held her down by force, undressed her, and raped her, Mahamba admitted. Then he sodomised her as well, he further admitted.

Having raped the crying and screaming child twice, he killed her, Mahamba stated.

"I did this by strangling and twisting her neck until she died," he said.

"I knew that she could die and that is what I wanted, to kill her because I did not want anyone to find out that I was the one who had raped her as I feared that she might talk and state that I did this."

Mahamba was 29 years old and employed at a hotel at Katima Mulilo at the time of the incident. He is married and is the father of two children, of which one is a girl now aged three.

Judge January recounted in his sentencing judgement that when Mahamba testified in mitigation of sentence, deputy prosecutor general Flip Brink asked him what he would have done if the same crimes had been committed against his daughter. Mahamba's response was that he would either kill the perpetrator or report him to the police.

A medical doctor who carried out an autopsy on Pumulo told the court her neck had been broken and she had suffered injuries to her private parts. She would have experienced severe pain during the assault on her, the doctor said.

Judge January commented: "One can just imagine the shock, pain and terror she must have suffered when the accused, a person that she trusted, started to rape her. The injuries testified to by the doctor speak for itself that both the rapes were perpetrated with extreme violence."

Mahamba's claim that he had been drinking before the incident could not count in his favour, the judge found. He remarked that Mahamba "acted with cold-blooded intent" to abduct Pumulo, before he raped her twice and murdered her in an attempt to conceal his crimes.

"These actions show calculated conduct. It suggests a clear mind driven with a specific intent," Judge January said.

People who commit despicable and heinous crimes against women and children in Namibia should expect harsh sentences from the country's courts, the judge warned.

He sentenced Mahamba to 35 years' imprisonment on the murder charge, a 20-year prison term on each of the rape charges, and to seven years' imprisonment for abduction. The sentence on the abduction charge would run concurrently with one of the sentences on the rape charges, it was ordered.

Defence lawyer Hope Ngara represented Mahamba.

Source: The Namibian (

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