The Loudima Institute for Technical and Vocational Training was rocked by allegations of witchcraft this week.
Two Namibian students studying at the institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo had to put their studies on hold and return to Namibia after they started suffering from ailments associated with witchcraft.
Sources within the Ministry of Higher Education said that news of the problems at the school first came to light when the Permanent Secretary Alfred Ilukena, mentioned it in a general staff meeting.
While Ilukena is said to have expeditiously moved passed the matter during the briefing, more details were soon revealed as a couple of students returned home because of the issue.
The Villager newspaper spoke to Ilukena on Wednesday, from DRC where he had returned with the two students to diffuse the situation.
“This is nothing to write home about. This is a case of students suffering from anxiety attack because they have never been away from their parents.
“I’m not a witch doctor but from the three nights that I have been I have not sensed any witchcraft,” he said.
The PS explained that most of the students had never been away from home and were merely homesick.
He stressed that they conducted investigations and found no truth to the witchcraft claims.
Ilukena also noted that he had begun engaging his colleagues from the Ministry of Health so they could provide social workers who would accompany the students and counsel them when they are distressed in foreign countries.
It is said that the problems at the school began with the child of one of the top officials in the Congolese government bullying fellow students.
The student, who is said to be a self-proclaimed witch, would walk around the school with a cup tied to her waist and demand that other students bow before her every time they encountered her on the school premises.
She vowed to punish all those who defied her, which is when the issue escalated to students fainting at random and some supposedly vomiting stones.
A couple of Namibian students who suffered from some of the afflictions were brought back in a bid to help them recover.
Ilukena noted that the students who had been brought home had made a full recovery and travelled back to Loudima with the P.S.
Approximately 50 Namibian students went to study at the technical school earlier this year. The school which was inaugurated last year by the head of states of the two countries is a culmination of an agreement signed by the two governments in 2007.
At the time, the school was said to be a symbol of the friendship, solidarity and commitment between the two countries.
The school was previously used as a training site for professional elite SWAPO members during Namibia’s liberation struggle.