A mother whose son has impregnated his two underage sisters is blaming herself for not involving the police when the first rape incident came to light.
“Last year when Peter* raped and impregnated my 15-year-old daughter, we concealed the matter. We never reported it because he too is my child, and I was afraid that he would get arrested and go to prison. Little did I know that he would also sleep with his 12-year-old sister and impregnate her.”
The 44-year-old woman from Oikango in the Omusati region is the mother of the two rape victims and the perpetrator who carried out the horrendous act over the period of two years.
New Era has the names of the involved family members, but they will not be revealed to protect the identities of the victims, who are both minors.
Speaking to this publication, chief social worker in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Scholastika Shatiwa said the family can be provided with psychosocial support to be able to cope with what has happened to the daughters.
The mother can be further educated about rape incidents to know “what is rape, what can be done if one is raped, and where to seek help,” she added.
Shatiwa thus urged people who are going through similar situations to always seek assistance from a social worker.
The mother said she is currently taking care of her two-month-old granddaughter, whose mother is her 16-year-old daughter; while her 12-year-old daughter is three months pregnant.
Both girls were impregnated by her 22-year-old son.
“Fear and shame overcame me… He ended up impregnating another sister… I should have just reported him earlier,” lamented the mother.
“My older daughter was 15 at the time, and when I found out that she was impregnated by my son, I was overcome by fear and shame. Instead of calling the police, I sat with my husband, who is also the father of my children, and we agreed that we should not open a case. Instead, we just spoke to Peter and warned him to never repeat the act again. We thought he understood… but last month my heart dropped when I discovered that my 12-year-old daughter was three months pregnant. We suspect that the rape took place between June and July this year,” said the sobbing mother.
The girl who fell pregnant first is now in Grade 10, and has since left the baby in the care of her mother as she is still in school.
The 12-year-old is a grade six learner, while their brother is a student at a vocational training school in the region.
All rape incidents allegedly happened in the house of their parents, on different occasions, where the brother had allegedly been threatening to kill the younger sister should she report the matter to the parents.
“Every time I see her, I would start crying. I am very emotional to see my child pregnant. She is just a baby… how will she concentrate on her schoolwork? I am emotionally exhausted,” she continued.
“Had I reported him when he impregnated his 15-year-old sister, the younger one would have been spared.”
The younger victim could also not have her pregnancy aborted as it was discovered too late.
The suspect has since appeared in the Outapi Magistrate’s Court, where he was denied bail. His case was postponed to 21 February next year.
Last week, Namibia’s First Lady Monica Geingos warned society to stop calling family meetings when a rape incident occurs. Geingos, who is the president of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), was speaking at the South African president’s summit on gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in Midrand, South Africa.
“In theory, we are all against gender-based violence, but in practice we’re not. The home is meant to be the ultimate safe space, but in reality, it is the most dangerous place,” she reasoned.
Shocked by the incident, gender equality minister Doreen Sioka said the suspect deserves punishment.
She stressed that no man has a right to have sexual intercourse with minors, and whoever is doing so must be reported as soon as possible.
“That suspect has damaged the child’s future; she will no longer concentrate at school,” she added.
Sioka, therefore, urged communities to speak up and report sexual acts involving minors.
*Not his real name.