High Court Judge Claudia Claasen yesterday ordered that a Windhoek resident accused of raping his biological daughter several times and forcing her to abort the foetus after impregnating her, has a case to answer.
She made the ruling after the accused lodged an application for discharge on some of the counts against him in the Windhoek High Court. The man, who may not be named to protect the identity of his alleged victim, pleaded not guilty to several charges of child trafficking, rape, incest, sodomy, assault by threat and inducement of abortion at the start of his trial.
It is alleged that during 2009, he took the complainant, who was 15 years old at the time, with him to Angola where he worked, with the blessing of the child’s mother as she became unruly. The purpose was for her to continue her studies through distance learning. However, the State alleges that he “made her his wife” instead.
They also allege that the sexual encounters started during a holiday in Swakopmund when he told the girl “nothing is for free” after buying her sneakers worth N$1 000. The man claimed the State did not prove that he trafficked the victim as she was in his lawful custody when he took her to Angola, where the alleged rapes took place. As such, he said, he cannot be convicted on those charges.
He further claimed that none of the assault charges were proven on a prima facie basis, and he is thus entitled to a discharge. Judge Claasen said she does not subscribe to his notion that the transfer or transport of the child was with consent, and thus lawful. According to her, only the accused can attest to the intent he had when he took the girl.
She further said that she is of the view that the State established prima facie that the transfer of the child was for sexual exploitation, and that he should answer to the allegations. As a result, the application is dismissed on two of the rape, alternatively incest charges, and the trafficking charges, as well as one assault by threat charge.
On the charge that he raped the child in Windhoek during 2010, the judge said the complainant testified that she cannot remember any details of that alleged rape and as the State correctly conceded that the charge was not
proven, she discharged him.
With regards to a charge that he threatened to shoot the child, she said it was also correctly conceded, albeit belatedly, by the State that the complainant was not present when the alleged threat was made, and could not have felt threatened. Consequently, she discharged him on that count too.
The State is alleging that the accused repeatedly raped his biological daughter, impregnated her and then forced her to have an abortion.
The abortion allegedly took place when the victim accompanied him during one of his various trips to Angola between 2010 and 2012.
The alleged rapes were also perpetrated while the victim accompanied the accused on his trips, and once during a family holiday in Swakopmund.
The accused is represented by Jermaine Muchali, and the prosecution by Palmer Khumalo.