• October 21st, 2019

 Allocate rape cases to trained police officers:  Herunga


Selma Ikela

WINDHOEK - Namibian Women Lawyers Association chairperson Ruth Herunga called on the police to allocate cases of sexual violence to trained policer officers who can treat victim cases with the sensitivity and urgency deserved. 

Herunga’s comments come after police allegedly failed to arrest a Windhoek City Police traffic officer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl on three different occasions, despite the victim’s mother opening a case three weeks ago. The traffic officer is known to the family, New Era heard.

It is alleged the incident happened during March and May this year but the girl only opened up about three weeks ago and the mother opened a case with the Gender-Based Violence Investigation Unit (GBVIU).
 Herunga, who is representing the mother and daughter in the matter, told New Era that the schoolgirl reported the incident to the Namibian police three weeks ago, that she was raped three times by a traffic officer but till to date the officer has not yet been arrested.

“The victim is severely traumatised and is currently receiving psychiatric treatment. We find the action of the police appalling and nothing but an attempt to cover up the action of a colleague. We call on the Namibian police to arrest the alleged perpetrator immediately since he should be regarded as a danger to society,” stated Herunga. 

Khomas regional police crime investigation coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas told this newspaper that the case is a little bit complicated and that the police is not refusing to arrest the suspect. 
Agas stated the police is intending to collect more evidence as the statement given by the complainant only states that she was raped without providing supporting information.

The victim’s mother is also said to have insisted that not further information should be obtained from her daughter, unless this is done through Herunga.

“In such case, you can arrest the person and at the end of the day there isn’t evidence and something backfires. We need more information from this victim but when the investigating officer went back, the mother said no. We can’t give a second statement until we consult the lawyer. So we are waiting, if they consult the lawyer and the lawyer advise them on what to do, then we will take it from there,” stated Agas. 
Herunga said there is nothing complicated about the case. Herunga, who is a former magistrate, said suspects are arrested with one witness statement and appear in court, after that, the matter is postponed for further investigation.

Herunga told New Era the mother and girl went to the GBV unit and made full statements. A video of the girl narrating the incident was taken. She added that the person whom the girl confided to also went to the GBV unit. “What more do they want from the child?” she asked.  

She said the investigator did nothing on the case until recently and this will discourage victims as the police has been sleeping on the case.

The single mother who said her daughter’s father passed on when she was young has been heavily affected by the ordeal. She said her daughter suffers from post-traumatic depression and is seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist once a week.
 


Selma Ikela
2019-09-19 07:06:37 | 1 months ago

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