Abused and homeless: former army major on the street

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

FOR almost two years, Andreas Nefundo (71), a retired major of the Namibia Defense Force has been waking up on the streets of Ongwediva every morning. The elderly man who survives on instant porridge, bread and vita juice has been homeless since 2017. He had been sleeping outside a church house, where he is now housed in a tiny room.

Nefundo, who is a battle-tested cadre left the country in 1974 to take part in the liberation struggle. He said he found himself in the street after his wife Sara Nefundo nee Kanelombe, a retired soldier applied for a protection order against her husband, following years of longstanding antagonism and claims of witchcraft between the couple.

Speaking to Confidente last week, Nefundo who now lives on the fringes of society, said the disagreement between him and his wife started in 2013 when his wife apparently started calling him “trash which she collected from the bushes” and threatened to deal with him.

He claims that his wife had sold a car of his, which he bought for N$140 000 in 2013 and burnt another one which she wanted to sell when he was sick in 2016. He also accused his wife of having hidden his cows and changing the entrances to their matrimonial home at Omulondo gwaKaali near Ontananga in Oshana region.

Nefundo said that in 2013 he reported to a nearby police station that he was on the receiving end of his wife’s abuse but the police officer allegedly laughed at him, saying that he was a coward. He further narrated how in 2015 he had stroke, which almost killed him.

“I couldn’t talk and walk for nine months. I went to seek medical attention at a traditional healer near Oshikuku in the Omusati region. I spent there one and half year and when I came back home my wife, accused me of wanting to kill her, which is not true. I have been married to her since 1987 but I have never been one to argue with her,” he explained.

He added that on the day he came home from Oshikuku, he called his friend from Onathinge and the headman to accompany him home since he had not been at home for nearly one year and seven months. He said that when he arrived home, one of his sons went to inform his mother that he was back.

When she saw the other two men, the wife allegedly said that she was not going to welcome her husband in the house alone. She reportedly went to call Rachel Nankudhu, the widow of struggle icon John ya Otto Nankudhu, who came to welcome him and sung him a song.

Nefundo further narrated that while there, his youngest son held him by his arm and wanted to beat him. “I did not know where he came from. I just saw him manhandling me, alleging that I wanted to shoot my wife. I always have my pistol on me but on that day I never threatened or had any intention to shoot my wife.

“On that day she went to falsely accuse me at Onayena police station so I could be arrested. The next day police officers came to my house and took my guns … my son wanted to register them in his name but the police refused. After that they took me to Ondangwa police cell where I was released after three weeks after I paid a bail of N$3 400.

“Subsequent to my release from prison, I was informed that there was a protection order that I cannot go to my house again. From there I had been sleeping in a tent outside a church house in the churchyard. I have been here for two years and nobody visits me. My wife is telling people at my village that I am at Ward 16 at Oshakati State Hospital, which is not true.”

The septuagenarian’s wife could not be reached for comment.