Mother, kids could lose home over relative’s debt

By Jade McClune

AN unemployed mother and her six children are on the brink of being evicted and made homeless in Swakopmund, after the house at Mondesa in which Ndapewa Shikongo says she was born, and in which her children grew up, was recently put up for auction by a commercial bank over monies owed by a distant relative of Shikongo’s.

She told Confidente that they were shocked to learn that Kondjera Kadumbo, a distant relative, in whose name the property was apparently registered after the death of her maternal grandmother, recently told them to “just get out” of the house, as it would be sold to recover some of his debts.

It has since emerged that the Kondjera in question had allegedly put the house up as collateral for a bank loan in an as yet unspecified amount, but First National Bank now wants its money back.

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The auction of the property in the old part Mondesa was scheduled for 4 December but by yesterday afternoon there was no sign that it would proceed, as the occupants and local community prepared to defend the family from eviction.

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The prospect of being put onto the street leaves Shikongo and her children in a quandary, as they have nowhere to go and have always called the house on Erf 545 in Mondesa home. To move into a shack on unserviced land on the outskirts of Swakopmund would be akin to going to live in the Dark Ages, without running water, electricity, sanitation, or a decent roof over their heads.

This poses a real threat and risk to their safety, health, and psychological wellbeing.

According to the original Deed of Sale, the property on Erf 545 was transferred to Suwana Indongo (born Naholo) by Swakopmund Municipality on 22 August 1990 at no cost. The 281-square metre property, with a two-bedroom house has been home to Ndapewa Shikongo since she was born 47 years ago.

Ndapewa’s mother was an adoptive daughter of Suwana Indongo. Her grandmother raised her after Ndapewa’s mother went into exile in the 1970s. She in turn also looked after her grandmother, who lived to be well over 100 years old, so the bond was very close.

Ndapewa says out of politeness they did not object when they first heard that the property had been registered in the name of Kadumbo, the son of a woman that Indongo had also looked after. It was claimed after her death, that Indongo had left the property to him, although no proof was offered.

Even the late Suwana Indongo’s son Hendrik was surprised to hear that the property had been registered in the name of Kadumbo. He reportedly walked out of a family meeting in disappointment over the decision to transfer his mother’s house to a distant relative, saying “It seems I am not my mother’s child.”

Last week, one of Hendrik’s surviving children, Lene Indongo, filed criminal charges against Kadumbo for alleged fraud. The case is under investigation and the police in Swakopmund are tasked with obtaining a copy of the will of late Mee Indongo from the bank. The will is said to be held by a local bank, but the direct descendants of Indongo have not had access to it.

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There are suspicions that the purported will – on the basis of which the property in Mondesa was transferred to Kadumbo – may have been forged. This has not been conclusively established.

Asked about the allegations last Wednesday, Kadumbo was not prepared to discuss the matter, but wanted instead to know who gave the newspaper his contact number. He insisted that Confidente speak instead to his lawyer, but then refused to give the lawyer’s number before hanging up.