A drinking buddy of rape, assault, attempted rape and attempted murder accused Gavin Gawanab testified yesterday about the day of the incident in the Windhoek High Court.
According to Jackie Afrikaner (32), he and Gawanab returned from 8ste Laan informal settlement - where they have been consuming alcoholic beverages - to Satan’s Loch Farm at about 15h00 that afternoon when they came across five to six children.
The group of children included boys and girls, the court heard yesterday.
He then asked them where they were going and told him they were collecting firewood.
“Gavin then said he will help them and I told him: ‘No. leave the children alone and let us just go home’,” the witness said.
“He (accused) then took out a knife and told me, ‘You, just go home, I’m going to do my things’, and went with the children.”
According to Afrikaner, he went home as he was afraid of the knife-wielding Gawanab.
The next morning, he said, he heard from one of the women at the farm that a young girl was raped and mutilated.
Afrikaner further testified that during the evening of the incident, he met up with Gawanab and asked him about the children and Gawanab only told him that he assisted the children in gathering firewood.
Prior to Afrikaner’s testimony, a police officer who arrested Gawanab at a family member’s residence, testified about the arrest.
According to him, on 28 October 2018, he was about to knock off for the day when two women came to his duty station at Otjomuise police station.
He said one was carrying a child in her hand with bloody legs.
They then explained to him what happened and he asked them if they know the culprit to which they answered positively and said that he is still at Farm Satan’s Loch.
According to the officer, Inspector Mathew Mwaala, he then drove with one of the women to Satan’s Loch and when the accused saw him, he jumped over the fence and ran away.
The witness further said that he chased after the “suspect” in vain, even firing three warning shots, but the suspect evaded him.
He was then later contacted by an informant who told him about the whereabouts of the suspect.
He was later found and arrested at a house in Havana.
The officer further told the court he introduced himself as an officer of the law and explained to the accused his rights.
Mbanga Siyomunji, who is on record for Gawanab on instructions of legal aid, told the officer that his client denied that the officer introduced himself or explained the reason for his arrest nor did he explain his rights fully.
The officer maintained that he explained everything in detail to Gawanab.
Gawanab is accused of 23 offences, including the rape and mutilation of a 10-year-old girl in 2018.
He is accused of attempted murder after allegedly strangling the minor girl with intent to murder her, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a further count of rape of the same victim.
The evidence yesterday was all in connection with this victim.
The incidents happened on 28 October 2018 near farm Satan’s Loch in the Windhoek area.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges when his trial started in February this year.
The State is represented by Innocencia Nyoni and Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku is on the bench.