A Windhoek resident, who was serving a 10-year sentence for allegedly sexually violating his niece’s friend, was successful with his appeal bid in the High Court.
Appeal judges Christie Liebenberg and Naomi Shivute yesterday said had the regional court “properly applied its mind to the proved facts and applied the law correctly to those facts, then the outcome of the trial, in all likelihood, would have been different”.
Before upholding the appeal against the conviction of Joel Iitika, the court indicated the nature of misdirection committed by the trial court are such that the conviction cannot be permitted to stand.
“There is nothing in the judgment that remotely shows that the court considered and evaluated the corroborated evidence of the appellant (Iitika) and his witness. It simply asked itself why the complainant would falsely accuse the appellant and, being satisfied that there was none, convicted him,” said the judges.
The court further said medical reports could not corroborate the victim’s version.
According to medical examinations conducted on the victim, there were no signs of abrasions, wounds or injury observed on her. The report also states no sperms were observed.
On 10 March 2021, the Windhoek Regional Court convicted Iitika on a charge of rape and consequently sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.
The prosecution alleged Iitika raped a 26-year-old woman on 17 September 2014, at their home in Havana, Windhoek.
The victim is the maternal relative of Iitika’s niece.
The two allegedly erected a shack in his yard on 16 September 2014 and moved in on 17 September 2014.
The incident allegedly took place on the night of 17 September 2014 after Iitika’s niece had left for work.
At the start of his trial, Iitika pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In his defence, he indicated that it would not have been possible due to surgery he had undergone shortly before the alleged rape.
His version was corroborated by his friend who was in his company at all relevant times when they were having drinks outside Iitika’s home.
He said after the drinks, he and his friend retired for the night. He was arrested the following day after having been called to report himself to the police regarding rape allegations against him.
In his appeal bid, Iitika was represented by Ndaudika Nhinda.