Rustenburg: The mother of three Namibian fishermen who were shot dead by the Botswana Defence Force has died, local media reported on Wednesday.
According to a report in the daily newspaper The Namibian, Alphonsina Nkungano Mubu, 69, died on Tuesday evening.
She collapsed on her way back home after taking a walk. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.
Local newspaper Informanté reported that she died of a heart attack reportedly brought on by grief at losing her sons.
Her sons Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo, as well as their cousin Sinvula Munyeme, were gunned down by members of the Botswana Defence Force on November 5 while they were fishing on the Chobe River.
However, Gaborone insists they were part of a cross-border poaching syndicate.
In a statement released on Monday, Colonel Tebo Kacho Dikole said the four were believed to be part of a network responsible for cross-border organised poaching and were shot dead in the Sedudu area (southern channel of the Chobe River) on November 5 at around 11pm.
“The matter has been handed over to relevant investigating agencies. As previously stated, there is an alarming surge of organised poaching for rhinoceros and elephants, especially in the western part of the country (Okavango Delta and in the Chobe National Park),” he said.
Namibian President Hage Geingob said on Tuesday that Namibia and Botswana would conduct a joint investigation into the shooting.
International Relations and Co-operation Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has assured Namibians that Windhoek is consulting Gaborone in a bid to find a lasting solution that will prevent the recurrence of such incidents between neighbouring countries, The Namibian reported.
She was expected to hold a meeting with Botswana high commissioner to Namibia Dr Batlang Serema on Wednesday afternoon, seeking clarity on whether Botswana still maintains it shoot-to-kill policy.
Botswana adopted the shoot-to-kill policy in 2013 to curb poaching. Under the policy, poachers are shot dead on the spot if they are caught.
In his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi said poaching remained one of the greatest challenges in the sustainable management of the country’s wildlife species.
“At least 63 rhinos have been killed since 2019. As part of the interventions to combat poaching, rhinos in the Okavango Delta have been dehorned,“ he said.
He said the national anti-poaching strategy was being reviewed to strengthen measures against poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking. It was expected that the review would be completed by March 2021. | African News Agency (ANA)