WINDHOEK – Through his book ‘Kangaroo Justice’ Namibian author and ex-reporter Victor Angula tells a story of how he was sentenced to jail for 13 years for a crime he allegedly didn’t commit and how he has been pulling his life together for eight years since prison.
The 44-year-old Angula, who is the founder of Omutumwa (Messenger) bi-weekly Ovambo-language newspaper, told New Era: “Writing the book was the only way I could get over the anger I have for the people that accused me and those that arrested me for a crime I didn’t commit and inform the nation of what happened to me.”
“This book tells people around the country and the world at large that I was in prison for a decade, and years for nothing. I am telling my ordeal of how I suffered at the hands of the Namibian justice system, that is why I titled the book Kangaroo Justice,” Angula explained, adding that he was accused by a woman who was a member of his church of raping her daughter, who was seven years old at the time.
Angula, who looked worried and bitter as he explained his story, said his trial “was not fair” which he believes was “a kangaroo court” (an unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanor).
“The mother of the so-called victim took her daughter to the hospital saying she was raped and when the doctor examined the child, he wrote the report stating that there is no indication that the child was raped but the hymen was torn, and it was also given to me. In the court I provided the letter to the judge to prove that I was not guilty and the state never used the letter, nor called the doctor, because they knew I was innocent,” he said.
Angula further recalled that he was sentenced to eleven years even though he had been trying to appeal without success.
He said he was neglected by organisations that are responsible for fighting injustice in the country, such as the ombudsman, National Society for Human Rights of Namibia (Namrights) and the Judicial Service Commission
In 2010, Angula was released from prison which he described as the most difficult thing as he was forced to go back into the community, face stigmatisation and rebuild his life.
Angula, who said he wrote and edited his book alone, urges people to buy the book and see what the justice system of the country does to people.
He says the book is not only a therapy to himself and his family but to everyone that can relate to his situation and also the lawmakers to see how impactful their decisions can affect one.
“I want my story to be heard even by people of the coming generations. Everyone needs to see the type of justice system we have.”
Complaining of a similar situation, Shikongo Sakaria from Omusati Region told New Era that he was also falsely accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in 2012 and was imprisoned for three months, which has affected his work, love and social life.
“I was with friends at some cuca shops in our village when members of the women network came to me accusing me of raping my neighbour’s child because I had shoes that were similar to those of the person that apparently raped the child,” explained Sakaria, adding that he was sentenced to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and the case disappeared into thin air.
When New Era called the mother of the complainant, she said: “I was not in the house when my child was raped but I was told that my child was raped by a man wearing a black mask, and when people followed the footprints of that person they found that it’s Sakaria who raped my child and I opened the case against him.”
New Era Reporter
2019-08-09 07:27:03 2 months ago