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08 Jul 2003 00:00
A debate about the “sugar daddy” concept is raging in Namibia after a 17-year-old schoolgirl killed herself over a love affair with the number two officer in the Namibian police.
After an outcry from the public, Deputy Inspector General Fritz Nghiishililwa was suspended “in view of the apparent public interest”.
The teenage girl, Ndeshihafela Sadrach, who was in grade 10 at a Windhoek school, wrote in her suicide note before she hanged herself on June 5: “Cause of my death, personal problems: More details Fritz ... I loved Fritz.”
According to her family the affair had been going on for two years.
The suicide kicked off discussions about older men having affairs with schoolchildren, pampering them with ornaments and clothes, and sometimes paying their school fees — as Nghiishililwa (45) apparently did.
Speaking at a press conference after Sadrach’s death, Nghiishililwa slammed critics, saying: “It is a normal practice that you can go for a younger girl, because who determines the morality? Who determines who should love who? The law gives the yardstick that you can only marry a girl of 18 and above.”
He said Sadrach was old enough and “liked what she was doing”.
Nghiishililwa, who is married but separated, accused Sadrach’s family of causing her death by interfering.
Using a church death register to back his claim, Nghiishililwa maintained he had done no wrong.
The register showed Sadrach was born in 1983 — but her birth certificate and her mother, Veronica Nghishikungu, say she was born in March 1986.
He referred to Sadrach as his fiancée, having allegedly discussed his intention to marry her with an aunt, Veronica Naidila — who was also his girlfriend before Sadrach was born.
Before he began an affair with Sadrach, Nghiishililwa wooed her sister, Aune Sadrach (21).
Aune Sadrach told The Namibian she turned him down because he was “too big for me”.
Following Sadrach’s suicide, many schools have introduced programmes to remind children of the dangers of becoming involved in relationships with older men and women.
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