Tensions mount, family banished

The family of the suspects charged in connection to the brutal murder of a 15-year-old boy in Satapuala has been ousted by the Village Council. 

And while tensions rise in the village following the killing, one of the suspect’s homes was burnt to the ground yesterday afternoon. 

The Police were called and they have launched an investigation. Arson is suspected.

In the meantime, Satapuala Village Mayor, Vaili Mimita, told the Sunday Samoan that the Village Council met on Friday after the discovery of the deceased’s body.

He said they opted to give the family an ultimatum.

“They had to pay a hefty fine of $20,000 by 4 p.m. (Saturday) or the village will demolish (mu le foaga) all their personal belongings,” Vaili said.   

 “However, with God in mind, there was a change of hearts by the chiefs."

“So we have opted to banish them instead of demolishing what this family owns, such as burning their homes and damaging everything on their family land.” 

Vaili said they will formalise their decision on Monday.

Yesterday, the Sunday Samoan arrived at Satapuala as the Chiefs and more than 30 untitled men were coming back from the area called the Poloka, where the five suspects, who have been arrested, reside. 

Vaili confirmed that one of the family homes of the suspects was burned to the ground.

He assured that the Village did not have anything to do with the fire. 

 “As you can see, we just came back from officially informing the family they will be removed from Satapuala,” Vaili said. 

According to Vaili, members of the family in question are allegedly behind the death the young boy. 

“At the same time, we are leaving the matter to the law to runs its course." 

“However the (Satapuala) village will not wait for the Court case to finish before we act, no that will not happen." 

“The Village Council has opted to remove this family from Satapuala, also we are not guessing what had happened, we know who is behind the murder of this young man." 

“From what I have been told, the young boy was assaulted and he was left to die and they succeeded, he died.”

The Village Mayor said they have consulted the family of the deceased not to avenge the death of the young boy. 

“We comforted the two families, the mother’s and father’s family of the young boy who died." 

“We have told them to pray for God’s comfort because getting revenge will not do any good for anyone." 

“The Village Council has also asked the deceased’s family to forgive them. Just as well for the suspect’s family, we have also consulted with them to keep the peace." 

“If anyone does not heed the humble request by the village to keep the peace and if anything happens, we will not hesitate to levy hefty penalties.”

 Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapaau Filipo Logoitino, said they have not ruled out arson in yesterday’s fire.

 “The investigation of the fire is now underway,” he said. 

“The Police and Village Council are working to maintain peace in the village.”

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By Hyunsook Siutaia 30/09/2020
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