‘He is the breadwinner of our family’

Sam Shilongo

Amadhila Shilongo wants his son to recover quickly, hoping things would get back to normal after he was assaulted in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week.

The father spoke to The Namibian yesterday at Windhoek Central Hospital where his son, Sam Shilongo, is hospitalised.

Doctors have told the family that Sam was still not in a good state, Amadhila said.

He described his son as his right hand and the breadwinner of the family.

“My son is my right hand, the firstborn to his four other siblings. He always ensures that we have something to eat or sends us money for our necessities,” the father said.

What pains him was that his son was not only assaulted, but was also robbed of N$7 000, he said.

“When my son was on the ground, he told me they forcefully took money from his pockets,” Amadhila said.

He dismissed allegations that his son’s eyes were removed, saying Sam’s attackers had fired a bullet which went through one side of his eye to the other.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation earlier this week said they have heard about the incident through the Namibian embassy in South Africa.

“On Friday, a police attaché went to the site, but the person left by plane that Friday morning,” ministry spokesperson Bertha Amakali said.

Police spokesperson Elifas Kuwinga this week said the police were unable to share any information on the alleged assault.

“That information, unfortunately, I cannot comment on. We do not have a report on that nor an official one with confirmation on whether it is in South Africa,” he said.

Sam’s father believes the attackers wanted to kill him.

“They wanted to kill my son, but instead the bullet went through his eyes,” Amadhila said.

He said his heart sank when he received a phone call from his son’s colleagues, explaining what had happened to him.

He said Sam explained to him that the four suspects initially pointed a gun to his head, and because of the chaos they did not manage to shoot him in the head.

Instead the bullet went through his eyes.

“I was in the village when I received a phone call from bus drivers at Lüderitz and they told me that my son was shot in South Africa.

“He used to transport people from Namibia to South Africa and vice versa, and he was operating legally as he had a driving permit,” Amadhila said.

He said people are speculating that Sam was a criminal.

“How was he allowed to cross the border every time travelling between two countries if he was doing anything illegal?

“My son is not a criminal and he would never be. I do not appreciate how social media has spread the wrong information and insensitive videos of him bleeding. That completely broke my heart,” Amadhila said.

Elizabeth Kamuhanga, Sam’s aunt, said the news broke her heart.

“I started crying in the office,” she said.

Kamuhanga said she went to the airport to pick up Sam.

“I feel like I lost a breadwinner although he is still alive. Sam is the breadwinner on both his mother and father’s side.

“Sam is a nice boy, he always calls me ‘mommy’,” she said.

Although the family claims members of the South African police this week arrived in Namibia regarding the incident, national police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said she was not aware of it.

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