Two men accused of acts of rape in Swakopmund during 2015 and 2017 tendered not guilty pleas when their trial started before Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen this week.
Chris van Wyk is facing three counts of rape, one count of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of theft, while his co-accused Desmond !Owos-Oab is facing two counts of rape, one count of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one count of theft and one count of housebreaking with intent to rape.
According to the charge sheet, both accused on 1 November 2015, at an area near Masilo Street in Mondesa, whilst the complainant was on her way to a friend’s house, approached her and then assaulted and raped her. It is further alleged that they took turns, with the one helping the other to commit the vile deed.
With regard to the housebreaking charge, it is alleged that !Owos-Oab during the evening hours of 5 March 2017 broke into the room where the complainant was lying passed out after a drinking spree and raped her.
During the trial yesterday, it came to light during the cross-examination of one of the State witnesses that Van Wyk’s defence is that he did not have intercourse with the complainant at all.
According to Mbanga Siyomunji, the State-funded lawyer of Van Wyk, his client admits that he was in the company of the complainant during the night in question, but vehemently denied raping or assaulting her. He said Van Wyk’s instructions to him is that he knew the complainant from before the incident and they were together at a shebeen in Mondesa.
He further said the complainant agreed to have intercourse with him and they went to the toilet to do the deed. However, he said, due to the fact that they had no protection and there were a lot of people knocking on the door wanting to use the amenities they abandoned the idea of having intercourse at the shebeen and instead decided to go home.
On their way, he said, they were accosted by four men unknown to him and one of the men asked the complainant who he was and she answered that he is her brother. An altercation then ensued between him, the four men and the complainant and in the process he sustained an open wound on his head and his cellphone was stolen, he claims.
While they were busy with the altercation the police arrived at the scene and the four men ran away, he said, and added that at that stage he was sitting on the ground next to the complainant and was not on top of her as one of the witnesses claimed.
He went on to say he was surprised when the police manhandled and arrested him, while he was a victim of assault and robbery.
The complainant in the matter will not be able to dispute the version of Van Wyk as she died after the incident from a snake bite.
The trial continues tomorrow and !Owos-Oab is represented by legal aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube and the State by Dominic Lisulo.