The man alleged to have set a shack on fire with two sisters sleeping inside, one of whom is his ex-girlfriend, was released by the police yesterday afternoon.
“We have released him for now whereas police investigations in the matter continue,” said police spokesperson Slogan Matheus yesterday afternoon.
Matheus said the evidence at the police’s disposal is currently not sufficient to link him to the crime.
The man is alleged to have poured paraffin from the doorway into the shack, set it alight and then disappeared. This happened on Monday morning in Windhoek’s Greenwell Matongo settlement.
The man was detained on Wednesday afternoon after the victims’ family set him up by requesting him to bring their son over. A case of arson has been opened and the man was a suspect in the case.
The two sisters Hilda Shekupe Thomas, 27, and her younger sister Aulelia Thomas, 25, are left with horrific life-threatening burns. Hilda has a two-year-old son with the man.
The photos of the two sisters in the Intensive Care Unit seen by New Era are very graphic and cannot be published. The victims have severe burn wounds and cannot speak.
According to the victims’ relatives, Hilda and the man dated since 2010 but had a problematic relationship.
A brother to the victims Reinhold Amunyela said that early Monday morning he heard his sisters screaming and shouting from an adjacent room that they were burning.
Amunyela and the rest of the people at home then broke open the shack from the back as they couldn’t open the door. “I went inside and it was already on fire. I checked on the bed and couldn’t see them. Aulelia was in the closet and crawled out saying the suspect set the shack on fire. I went back in again but couldn’t see Hilda and lifted the bed but she wasn’t there. She was under a mattress which was on fire,” related Amunyela.
Amunyela went back in the shack again and took their cellphones. He called the suspect on all his three cellphones but they were switched off.
“He (suspect) only called the following day claiming he heard that his estranged girlfriend and sister burnt in the shack. I told him I don’t know and wasn’t at home.”
Amunyela also told New Era that his sisters were staying at the suspect’s residence in Goreangab up until end of May when the suspect chased them away. He added that the couple had problems for a long time but only learnt about it three months ago.
The sisters had then looked for a shack to rent where the suspect showed up and begged them to return to his place but they refused.
“A day after he chased them away he went to my sister’s workplace at 11:00 and waited for her to knock off and later begged her to go back to his house. We reached a conclusion that he should give my sister a break. He decided to take their son and left and I went to my room. He returned shortly and started beating and kicking her. So I told him my sister was not returning to his house anymore because he beat her.”
The women’s father travelled to Windhoek and said the incident pains him a lot. “I don’t think I can stare him in the eyes because of what he did.”
The family is traumatized and they all sleep in one room. They are also requesting a social worker as they require counselling.