• September 21st, 2020

'Gang-rape' judgement in October

Three young men from Gobabis, who are accused of taking turns to rape a woman at a local settlement on 6 March 2016, will hear their fate on 16 October after Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute heard arguments on the verdict on Friday. 
The youngsters who were 15 and 19 years old at the time of the alleged rape pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial and put the onus on the State to prove the allegations against them. 

It is alleged by the State that they took turns and helped each other in the commissioning of the offence. 
According to the charge sheet, Kingsley Balzer who was 15 at the time, Fritz Naobeb also 15 at the time and Norman Witbeen who was then 19, threatened the victim with a knife and a panga and violated her. 

According to the indictment, the victim was on her way home during the early morning hours after socialising with friends when the three accused accosted and raped her, and as a means of subduing her threatened to hit her with a panga and stole her cellphone in the process. 
Each of them faces five counts of rape, one count of assault and one count of theft. 
State prosecutor Timo Itula asked the court to convict the accused on all charges as the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed the offences. He, however, conceded that the State did not prove two of the rape counts against Balzer, as the evidence was that he left the scene after he took his turn. 

Giant Kauari, who is on record for Balzer on instructions of legal aid, told the court that the complainant lied to the court when she yelled rape.
According to him, the evidence suggests that she was the one who initiated the sexual encounter. He asked why the complainant who said she was held hostage by the accused for a lengthy period did not ask for help from people they encountered while walking for a distance of four to five kilometres. 

According to him it was established through evidence led that she was the one who fetched a blanket from her house, asked for the jersey of Witbeen and used it as a cushion while they were having intercourse. 
Milton Engelbrecht, who appears on behalf of Noabeb, told the court that the State failed miserably to prove that the sex was not consensual. 
He said that the versions of the accused are reasonably possibly true and they should be given the benefit of the doubt. 
According to Engelbrecht, evidence shows that the complainant refused to accompany her friends home when asked to and instead told her friends that the three young boys would escort her home which is clear evidence that at no stage was she under duress. 
Jermaine Muchali, whose client Witbeen admitted that he raped the complainant, asked the court to see that admission for what it was – a clear misunderstanding. 

According to him, Witbeen wanted to say that he had sex with the complainant, but that was misconstrued as him admitting to rape. 
He further told the court that on the night in question the complainant was clearly the hunter and the three boys the prey. 
“She pounced on them like a cougar and after the act was embarrassed as she knew they were youngsters and would brag about their sexual intercourse with her,” he said. 
He further said that the complainant was afraid of what the community would think of her and of losing her boyfriend. In fact, Muchali said, the complainant is the one that was supposed to be arrested for having sexual relations with minors.
– rrouth@nepc.com.na

Roland Routh
2020-08-03 09:07:16 | 1 months ago

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