A teenage girl, Tangeni Elao ya Patrusa (17), who had sneaked out of the house to attend the just-ended Ongwediva Trade Fair, was brutally beaten by her father, Paulus ya Petrusa, in public before police intervened.
Tangeni had long harbored dreams of attending the annual trade fair and thought she had gotten her chance to this year’s event until her father showed up.
She had left her home in Oshivelo town in Oshikoto Region without her parents’ consent and along with a group of friends, set off to Ongwediva.
According to Tangeni’s mother, Loide ya Petrusa, they started to worry about her whereabouts on the second day of her disappearance: “I could not even sleep the first night she did not return home because I thought something terrible had happened to my baby. I called some neighbours to find out if they knew anything about her whereabouts and when all proved futile, I was ready to call the police, only to receive a call from a family friend called Martha, saying she had spotted Tangeni at the trade fair.”
Her husband was furious and decided to teach Tangeni a lesson, she adds. Loide and her husband drove to Ongwediva where they arranged to meet Martha who was a cashier in one of the bars on the “Katutura” side of the show grounds, to show them where she had last seen Tangeni.
All hell broke loose when Tangeni’s parents found her at the trade fair with her friends. Her father started whipping her until the security detail called the police.
When the police arrived, they told Tangeni’s father he was committing child abuse to which he responded; “Child abuse se gaat! No child of mine will disrespect me in this manner and get away with it because of child abuse laws!”
Paulus then expressed his disappointment to the police for intervening in family affairs the way they had: “Now our children are losing respect for us because of such kinds of laws.”