Otjimbingwe man guilty of rape of disabled woman and two girls

Home National Otjimbingwe man guilty of rape of disabled woman and two girls
Otjimbingwe man guilty of rape of disabled woman and two girls

Windhoek High Court Judge Herman January on Friday convicted a resident of Otjimbingwe in the Erongo region on three counts of rape and two counts of common assault. 

It was alleged by the State that Jackson Katjombe (36) raped the complainants between January and September 2018 at a farm in the Otjimbingwe area.

It was further alleged that he physically assaulted his victims, and threatened to kill them should they report the alleged rapes to anyone. 

Katjombe pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape, alternatively contravening the Combating of Immoral Practices Act; three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm; and three counts of assault by threat at the start of his trial last year.

One of the complainants, who was 29 years old at the time, is a disabled person with the mental capacity of a six-year-old. She cannot walk and crawls, and also cannot use her arms. She is totally dependent on her siblings for her care. 

The other victims were 14 and eight years old, respectively at the time of the incidents.

Judge January found that the complainants gave their testimony in a consistent and clear manner, and it corroborated with each other. In contrast, the accused was evasive and often spoke about issues that he was not asked to answer. He further said most of what the accused told the court was either fabricated or an afterthought. 

According to the judge, the accused’s evidence was not credible at all, and stands to be rejected. With regards to the assault charges, he said State Advocate Timo Itula was correct in conceding that intent to cause grievous bodily harm was not proven. 

He further said the three assault by threat counts amounted to a duplication of charges, as they can be linked to the rape charges. 

Furthermore, it was not proven that the accused and the complainants were in a domestic relationship, as he was just a neighbour.  In the end, January said the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Katjombe who raped the complainants and assaulted them, and he stands to be convicted on those counts. However, the counts of assault by threat were not proven, and he is entitled to be exonerated on those counts.

The matter will return to court on 21 July for pre-sentencing procedures, and the accused remains in custody at the section for trial-awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility. 

He is represented by Tjingairi Kaurivi on instructions of the Directorate of Legal Aid.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na