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D-day for alleged serial rapist in March

2019-01-21  Roland Routh

D-day for alleged serial rapist in March

WINDHOEK - A Swakopmund resident who allegedly raped a 14-year-old and another woman in the spate of five days after being released on bail on a previous rape charge will hear on March 6 whether his claims of consent will get him off the hook on four of the charges of rape.

Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku informed Brendan van Wyk, 33, on Friday at the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility that she will be ready with her judgement then.

Van Wyk already pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and one count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, alternatively obstructing a member of the police from carrying out his or her duties, and claimed that the complainants consented to have sex with him after he “proposed” to them. 

State Advocate Palmer Khumalo disputed this and said in his submissions on the verdict that all the complainants testified that he threatened them with a knife and that once a threat exists there can be no consent. He further said that the version of Van Wyk is a pure concoction. 

With regard to the 14-year-old girl, Khumalo said it is improbable that she would have introduced herself to Van Wyk as he claimed and accepted his proposition for sex. 

According to Khumalo, her clothes were still full of dirt when she arrived home after the rape and the doctors found dirt on her private parts when he examined her, which is clear evidence that the act was non-consensual. According to Khumalo, the girl would have cleaned herself if she was a willing participant. With regard to the third victim, he said Van Wyk used a similar modus operandi, which was to waylay and accost women walking alone in the early morning.

 He said that Van Wyk got up early in the morning and when he met a woman walking alone, he gave the impression that he was a nice guy and when she expected it the least, he grabbed her and had his way with her. 

Khumalo further said the third victim, who was pregnant at the time, only gave in to Van Wyk’s demand after he threatened to kick her in the stomach. He said the fact that her jeans were torn and her blouse bloodied, showed that she at first put up a fight. 

According to Khumalo, it is not probable that all three women were his girlfriends as he claimed and that there was consent, but rather compulsion out of fear. He submitted that the state proved all four charges of rape against Van Wyk beyond a reasonable doubt and asked the court to convict Van Wyk. With regard to the defeating the course of justice charge, he conceded that it was not proven.

Van Wyk’s legal aid lawyer, Mpokiseng Dube, told Judge Usiku that the court can only convict when discrepancies in witness testimonies are minor. He said in this case the discrepancies in the witness testimonies are of such a nature that it is material. For instance, he said, the versions of the first complainant and her witness are so incomparable that the court must give the accused the benefit of doubt. He said the version of Van Wyk as to what transpired between him and the first complainant is in a manner corroborated by the testimony of the witness.

With regard to the 14-year-old, Dube said the version of the accused is probable. How did he know details about her such as that she walked to school since her father drove other kids to earn extra money, he asked. He further said that the complainant told Van Wyk she was 16 years old at the time and that Van Wyk had no reason not to believe her. 

With regard to the third complainant, Dube said it is plain and simple a question of morals. According to him, it was not established whose blood was on the blouse of the woman. According to him, it is reasonably possible that Van Wyk’s version that the woman accepted his proposal is true and the court must afford him the benefit of the doubt. 
According to Dube, none of the complainant’s versions was corroborated while on the other hand the accused explained clearly and confidently. He asked the court to find Van Wyk not guilty on all counts.            
Van Wyk remains in custody.

2019-01-21  Roland Routh

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