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Judge dismisses recusal application

2021-08-11  Maria Amakali

Judge dismisses recusal application

High Court Judge Harald Geier has dismissed an application to recuse himself from the case of a former magistrate Jaco Kennedy who is charged with multiple counts of rape and kidnapping.

Geier said the reasons for his decision will be made available at a later stage.

In his now dismissed application, Kennedy (33) wanted Geier to step away from his case on grounds that he harbours serious bias against him. 

He said he would not receive a fair trial with Geier as the presiding officer.

He claims Geier on 1 March 2020 and in his absence struck the recusal application from the roll for a ‘trifling reason’. 

According to the court, Kennedy failed to serve the combined summons on the defendants in the case.

 “On 19 June 2019, the managing judge (Geier) ordered the applicant (Kennedy) to file a list of all of his criminal and civil cases pending in all of the Namibian courts. This order was a surprising order as the applicant’s current pending criminal and civil cases had absolutely nothing to do with the management of this case,” said Kennedy. 

Before instituting a recusal application against Geier, Kennedy reported the matter to the Judicial Service Commission in February.  

However, on 12 March, the Judicial Service Commission after investing his allegations against Geier did not “establish a prima facie case of misconduct” and the complaint was dismissed.

Kennedy, alongside his cousin Raymond Cloete (33) are currently on trial. 

Kennedy is charged with three counts of rape and charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and alternatively hindering the duties of an authorised officer. 

Cloete is charged with two counts of rape and a count of kidnapping.

The State is alleging that on 3 January 2015, Kennedy and Cloete attacked a woman between the Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura Intermediate Hospital after they offered her transport from Otjomuise to the Windhoek city centre. 

The prosecution further alleges Kennedy tried to murder the victim by assaulting and strangling her. 

On the charge of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and alternatively hindering the duties of an authorised officer, the State claims Kennedy assaulted a police officer who wanted to arrest him. 

He is further accused of authoring a statement in which the victim claimed she was not raped.

They are out on bail of N$3 000 each.

However, Kennedy found him back in custody after he was arrested on similar charges a year later. 

He picked up a woman waiting for a taxi to take her to her workplace on the morning of 31 December 2015 and drove with her to a spot where he allegedly raped her. 

He was arrested at the end of January 2016.

The two men have since denied any wrongdoing. 


2021-08-11  Maria Amakali

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