Man who lost eyes in Joburg feels neglected

Sam Shilongo

Okahandja resident Sam Shilongo (40), who was involved in an alleged shooting and robbery incident in Johannesburg six months ago, resulting in the loss of his eyes, has expressed concern over the lack of communication regarding his case.

“I see the politicians are busy with presidential campaigns. I feel left out,” he says.

Shilongo says he has questioned the Namibian embassy in South Africa and the police on the progress of the investigation.

He was admitted to Windhoek Central Hospital last September and was discharged after a month.

“Since I have been discharged, everything went quiet, I gave my statements to the Namibian Police then, but now I try calling to get updates while I believe I have to receive updates from the police,” he says.

Shilongo says while in hospital, he received a lot of visitors who made promises that were not delivered on.

“My government has forgotten me. I have lost my eyes and it’s like nothing happened,” he says.

He says he cannot provide for his family any more.

“I have rent to pay, since I don’t have a house of my own,” the father of two says.

Shilongo says he received his first disability grant of N$1 400 last month.

He used to transport people between Namibia and South Africa.

He recalls a group of men forcefully taking money from his pockets.

Shilongo says when the incident took place in September last year, he heard a woman screaming before a gun fired a bullet which went through his eyes.

“Four men pointed a gun to my head and because of the chaos they did not manage to shoot me in the head, but my eyes rather,” he says.

Shilongo’s wife, Aina Majied (29), says everything has changed.

“His business has come to a standstill and he still pays rent. The situation is hard. We don’t get any help from people and we do not want to beg,” she says.

Could the government not consider assisting him in any way, Majied asks.

Shilongo’s father, Amadhila Shilongo, says his son was 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,” he says.

Police spokesperson chief inspector Pendukeni Haikali says a report was submitted to South Africa in October, of which reception was acknowledged.

There has, however, been no response on the progress of the case, she says.

Another query on the case was recently submitted, she says.

South African Police Service national spokesperson brigadier Athlenda Mathe is urging the victims of crime in the country to open cases to enable the police to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.

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