WARNING: The following visuals may upset sensitive viewers
Simon Sonnekus, Netwerk24
A Namibian woman is facing charges of child abuse, assault and attempted murder after she recklessly threw a baby she was caring for into a cot.
Annemarie Theron, reservations and marketing manager at a lodge in Namibia, laid a charge at the Outjo police station in Namibia, after capturing video footage of her nine-month old daughter Laila being manhandled by her nanny.
“It was very emotional watching it. I refused to sleep, eat or drink for a couple of days afterward. It’s difficult to imagine how long this has been going on for. I can see Laila is so, so broken after everything,” Theron said.
Theron said she noticed bruises on Laila’s neck and shoulders and suspected all was not well.
“After that I sat at work, thinking about my daughter the entire day. That’s when I decided to install cameras, so that I could see what was happening when I’m not at home.”
She was shocked after watching the footage, and immediately laid a charge at the police station.
“It was quite a process, as I had to confirm with a mediator what it would mean if I made the recordings without her (the nanny’s) knowledge. The police were initially hesitant about the charges, but wanted to arrest the woman immediately after seeing the footage.”
According to Theron, the woman appeared in court on Monday. The state added the charge of attempted murder.
A police spokesperson confirmed Namibian police are aware of the incident, but would not speak to foreign media. Deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, Namibia’s head police spokesperson, wasn’t available for comment.
“I don’t want her near my child ever again, or to pose a threat to other children. What happened was horrible to witness. I realised Laila has nightmares,” said Theron.
Laila is currently attending a kindergarten during the day. She doesn’t believe all nannies are bad and says she may consider employing a nanny in the future.
Theron says support flooded in after she posted the video footage to social media.
“It was comforting to see how many people supported us. Thanks to everyone, family, friends, and strangers, it means a great deal.