The High Court dismissed the urgent application of a father who was seeking an order to stop his daughter from being buried alongside four other victims of a car crash that occurred near Kongola, Zambezi region last week.
After hearing the matter on Wednesday night, Judge Hannelie Prinsloo dismissed the application with costs, removed the matter from the court’s roll and deemed it finalised.
She would make her reasons available on 17 January.
Shelton Chainda, father of Twambo Chainda (16), filed an urgent application on Wednesday, arguing that his wishes to bury his daughter at Mkanga village have been ignored by the Nzundamo family (Chainda’s maternal side).
Twambo died on 5 January alongside her mother Namangolwa Nzundamo (40), and her aunt, who was acting CEO of Namibia Drydock and Ship Repair company (Namdock), Heritha Nankole Muyoba (52).
Another victim was Nekaro Kasiku (12), a sibling of Twambo.
Muyoba’s daughter Amy Manga Sepiso (22), and Nzundamo’s three-year-old son survived the accident.
The accident occurred between Omega 3 and Kongola along the Trans-Caprivi highway.
According to police reports at the time, the rear left tyre of the vehicle in which they were travelling allegedly burst, causing it to overturn and roll several times.
In his application, Chainda wanted the court to interdict and restrain the Nzundamo family comprising Patrick Nzundamo – uncle of Namangolwa – and Alfred Kabala – distant uncle of Namangolwa – from forging ahead with the planned burial today at the Mazungendava Cemetery in the district of Katima Mulilo.
He further sought an order that would compel the Nzundamo family to furnish him with the original removal/burial order so that he may collect his daughter’s remains, as well as her full birth certificate and original post-mortem report.
In addition, the court was to order that he could bury his daughter as planned on Friday at Makanga village.
The Nzundamo family opposed the application. Patrick, who represented the family, said although there was a decision made on 6 January to bury Twambo at Makanga village, the family together with Chainda met and held another meeting on 8 and 9 January. That meeting resolved that Twambo was to be buried alongside her mother and other siblings at Mazungendava.
Chainda and his family contributed funds towards funeral expenses that were to be carried out at Mazungendava.
Patrick explained that Chainda’s request to bury his daughter at Makanga village was denied because “he has not paid for damages for the deceased (Namangolwa) since he and the late mother were not married”.
“This is based on the customary laws of the Zambezi region that if an unmarried father does not pay damages, he is not entitled to have any rights over that specific child,” clarified Patrick.
He further indicated that in the absence of Namangolwa, who was unmarried, and the grandparents, he was the most senior person entrusted with the decision of where Twambo was to be buried.
The burial of the five deceased took place yesterday.
For the application, Chainda was represented by Appolos Shimakeleni, while the Nzundamo family was represented by Ambunda-Nashilundo and Jermaine Muchali.