Village banishment leaves 68 year old matai with serious machete wounds

A traditional Samoan fale photographed in the late 1950s

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: TUESDAY 14 APRIL 2015: A 68 year old matai sent to relay a Village Council decision on the continued banishment of another villager is recovering slowly in hospital from serious machete wounds when he was attacked unaware.

The 68 year old Gaga Sagele acted as a spokesperson for the Falealupo Village Council to relay the council’s decision on the man who reportedly returned to the village against his banishment from the village.

After Gaga delivered the decision, he returned home unaware that the son of the banished man was following him.

Once the son caught up with Gaga, he attacked the messenger with a machete.

The Assistant Police Commissioner, Fauono Talalelei Tapu confirmed the incident.

He said the injuries to Gaga’s hands, chest and face are very serious.

“He lost some of his fingers,” said Fauono.

Gaga is admitted at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital and is recovering slowly according to police.

According to police report, the incident could have erupted further when the injured matai’s family planned to retaliate.

The plan according to the report was intercepted by one of Gaga’s family matai who called an urgent meeting and begged the family to pray for Gaga and not to create more trouble.

The young man who assaulted Gaga is under police custody.