Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND - Four Walvis Bay residents, Logan Pretorius, his fiancé, Sandra Riobo, Ashley Januarie and Curven Vries were on Friday found guilty on a charge of kidnapping and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Magistrate Gaynor Poulton delivered the judgment in the Swakopmund regional court, almost five years after the four were arrested for kidnapping and assaulting three minor boys, Carlos Mukuve, and Levi and Edward Goreseb in Meersig after suspecting them of trying to steal a pitbull and allegedly killing one.
The four chased the boys in a white bakkie, caught them and took them to Pretorius’ house, which is said to be five minutes away from the Walvis Bay Police Station in town at that time. The boys were detained for at least five hours.
The three boys during the duration of the case, testified that they were physically and verbally abused with a spanner, a hammer, a panga, a shovel by the four and bitten by dogs on 28 August 2014.
They also testified that the accused had threatened to kill them while calling them derogatory names such as kaffir.
According to the boys’ testimonies that were also read by Poulton on Friday in court, they were forced by Pretorius to lie on their back while he poured Tabasco sauce over their faces and later on they were given salty water to drink. This made one of the boys vomit and he was forced to lick his vomit.
Pretorius in his testimony stated that he took the boys to his garage after chasing and catching them with the assistance of the other three accused persons. He claimed he took them to the garage to question them about the death of one of his pitbull puppies.
He stated that he wanted to call the parents but none of the minors had cellphones and one of them just asked to be slapped rather than to be taken to the police station.
Pretorius also said after slapping them, he warned the boys not to steal again, as they could end up in prison.
They were then given bread and N$20 to go home
Poulton, in her judgment, said Pretorious’ version of events was not supported by medical evidence and that it is hard to believe that they kept the boys for over five hours just to talk to them.
Poulton then told the court that the state testimonies of the victims, witnesses and evidence presented during the duration of the trial could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the charges against the accused.
She said both the victims and the witnesses were intensively questioned during the trial and although there were some discrepancies in the sequences of events, their testimonies corroborated.
“They testified after a long period and were questioned in length for days. What is important is that the evidence was not of such to be dismissed. “Taking all evidence into consideration, the state could prove that the victims were continuously hit with fists, slapped, hit with weapons, dogs were set on them, medical evidence also proved the injuries suffered by the victims,” she said.
She also said the four accused kept the children in the garage for at least five hours without the consent of their parents, as they were minors when the incident took place. “Based on the evidence presented by the state and also corroborated by the suspects, you are all four guilty of kidnapping and assault with the intent to do bodily harm.”
The accused, who are currently out on bail, will be sentenced on 10 June in the Swakopmund regional court.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-13 09:17:26 8 days ago