A group of young men who were convicted for having kidnapped and raped a young woman in Tsumeb while they were teenagers, were each sentenced to serve eight years in prison for their crimes.
The Oshakati High Court sentenced Immanuel Kariseb (30), Marks Beukes (30) and Nelson Xamiseb (30) to serve a total of eight years each on a charge of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
The court sentenced them to individually serve four years on the charge of kidnapping, and 10 years imprisonment on the first count of rape, with six years of the latter count suspended for a period of five years on condition that they are not convicted of rape during the suspension period.
The court further sentenced them to eight years imprisonment on the two other charges of rape, with these sentences to be served concurrently with the punishment in the first two counts.
Judge Herman January said in determining the sentence that the court took into consideration that the accused have been in custody for 10 years awaiting trial, and were all 17 years of age at the time of committing the offences.
“The accused, although juveniles, acted like ordinary criminals, pounced on her and pulled her to the place where they raped her while taking turns. This happened despite reprimands from another elder person in their company and the complainant, requesting them to leave her alone,” the judge stated.
January said the group cannot hide behind their erstwhile youthful ages. They also did not show remorse for having committed the said crimes.
The judge convicted the group in September on the charge of kidnapping, and three counts of rape by ambushing and dragging a woman into the bushes, where they proceeded to take turns in raping her.
The evidence presented during trial indicated that the accused were on a drinking spree before the commission of the crimes while attending different weddings in the location, until they ended up at another wedding house where they met the complainant in the early hours of the morning.
The complainant was on her way home when she was kidnapped.
The incident took place on 5 December 2009 near the Otjikoto Secondary School in Tsumeb.