Jeremia van Wyk, who confessed under oath to having abducted and sexually violated a minor in 2019, was found fit to stand trial by two psychiatrists, Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg was informed last week.
This came after Van Wyk was subjected to mental evaluation after his taxpayer-funded lawyer Titus Mbaeva asked the court to send the accused for psychiatric observation as he allegedly has a history of mental problems from before the incident.
Felisitas Sikerete-Vendura informed the judge on behalf of the prosecution that she received both reports – one from a State psychiatrist and one from a private psychiatrist – and that both declared him fit to stand trial. That means that he will be able to follow proceedings and give instructions to his lawyer.
Van Wyk informed the court at his first pre-trial appearance that although he intends to plead guilty to charges of rape and abduction with an alternative count of kidnapping, he was advised that the services of a legal practitioner will be to his benefit.
The matter has now been postponed to 21 October for Mbaeva - who was not at court - to explain his absence and for the possible allocation of a trial judge.
During his first appearance in the magistrate’s court, Van Wyk confessed to the crimes. He informed the court that he picked up the little girl on the date in question around 13h00 from her school in the Khomasdal area.
The accused further explained that they walked from the victim’s school to Katutura, where he sexually violated the minor. Van Wyk gave graphic and descriptive details of what he had done to the minor.
Following the sexual violation, he went to drink with his friends while in the company of the victim. It is his testimony that he was highly intoxicated from the drugs and alcohol he had consumed that day.
He further testified that he only realised what he had done after the effects of the drugs and alcohol started to wear off. The police arrested Van Wyk on 1 August 2019 after he was found in the company of a five-year-old girl, who was reported to have gone missing from school earlier in the day.
The girl’s picture went viral that day on social media, with a short description that she was missing. Police reports at the time indicated that a member of the public recognised the minor and reported to the police. According to the police, Van Wyk was released from a correctional facility nearly three years before his arrest on this matter, having served a sentence on charges of rape and murder.
He remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates.