A Windhoek resident, who is accused of raping his biological daughter several times and forcing her to abort the foetus after impregnating her, has instructed an advocate to defend him during the last stretch of his trial.
The man, who may not be named to protect the identity of his alleged victim, terminated the services of his legal aid instructed lawyer, Jermaine Muchali, rehired him in a private capacity, and directed him to instruct an advocate to defend him.
He will now be represented by James Diedericks for his defence case after the State closed its case against him.
He already started testifying in his defence.
He was recently released from custody after successfully overturning a conviction of robbery in the High Court.
He is currently on warning on the rape case after the magistrate’s court struck his matter from the roll for a lack of the prosecutor’s general (PG) decision.
The State, however, later got their ducks in a row and resummoned him to stand trial after the PG decided he must stand trial in the High Court.
The accused informed Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen, who is presiding over his rape and incest trial, that he is now in a position to afford private legal counsel – and as such, he wishes to terminate the services of legal aid, but he will retain the services of Muchali on a private basis to instruct senior counsel on his behalf.
Claasen granted him the request on Monday – and yesterday, Diedericks came on board.
He asked the judge for an opportunity to acquaint himself with the matter, and Claasen agreed and remanded the matter to 18 July.
The man pleaded not guilty to several counts of rape, incest, sodomy and inducement of abortion before Judge Claasen at the start of his trial.
He is facing three counts of rape, alternatively incest, three counts of child trafficking and two counts of assault by threat.
The State is alleging the accused repeatedly raped his biological daughter, impregnated her and then forced her to abort.
The abortion allegedly took place when the victim accompanied him during one of his various trips to Angola between 2010 and 2011.
The alleged rapes were also perpetrated while the victim accompanied the accused on his trips, and once during a family holiday in Swakopmund.
The judge dismissed a section 174 application by the accused to be released after the close of the State’s case, saying he has a case to answer.
After his arrest, the accused undertook a lengthy bail application, which eventually saw him being released on bail in July 2014.
During the bail application, it was alleged in court that he raped his daughter – and the accused, himself, during cross-examination questioned whether the victim was his biological child.
The prosecution is represented by advocate Palmer Khumalo.