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Gang rape accused seek acquittal

2022-02-07  Maria Amakali

Gang rape accused seek acquittal

Two of three men on trial for allegedly gang-raping a young woman at Otjurukune Reserve in the Gobabis area in 2017, say the State failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Jan Gemeng and Godlieb Rapanka Katuuo, through their lawyers Mese Tjituri and Joseph Andreas, argued in the High Court yesterday that State failed to lead evidence that would prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused.

Gemeng and Katuuo are on trial for allegedly assaulting and taking turns to rape the woman at Otjurukune on 17 June 2014.

They face charges of rape, assault to cause grievous bodily harm and common assault. The two were initially charged alongside Tjaava Ebson. He was acquitted by court due to lack of evidence.

During submission before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, Tjituri argued Gemeng can not be convicted based on the fact that “his shoe was found at the scene of the crime or the presence of injuries found on the victim”. 

He said the State failed to lead evidence that would explain how the victim sustained the injuries and how Gemeng caused them.

He further added of all the State witnesses, none of them witnessed the alleged offence. Thus, the court should acquit Gemeng on all charges.

Making submission on behalf of Katuuo, Andreas indicated that his client and the victim were in a relationship. The two allegedly has sex they day before the incident, which explains Katuuo’s semen that was found within the victim’s vaginal canal.

He said his client denies raping, assisting any of his co-accused rape and assault the victim. 

“How can the accused be convicted on a crime he allegedly helped accused two (Ebson), when accused two has since been acquitted of the same crime,” argued Andreas.

The State, represented by Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura, informed the court that all of the six witnesses were credible and corroborated each other’s version. 

She noted the State has managed to prove that a strong prema facie case exists against the accused and the court should find them guilty as charged. 

It is alleged that the complainant was at a bar with her boyfriend and two other friends. The accused were said to be in the same bar.

They allegedly attacked her while she was walking home alone from the bar.

Her boyfriend, who heard her screaming, tried to help her, but accused Ebson and Katuuo reportedly assaulted him and managed to chase him away, reads the charge sheet.

It is further alleged that the three accused continued to assault the complainant, until she was too weak to offer any resistance and then gang raped her.

All three accused are free on bail. 

The court will give judgment on 29 March.


2022-02-07  Maria Amakali

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