A 38-year-old Keetmanshoop resident, who admitted to having sexual relations with a 12-year-old girl, has taken his fight to be released on bail to the High Court.
Businessman Jonas Haman is currently appealing the Keetmanshoop Magistrate Court’s decision to refuse him bail in July.
In his notice of appeal, Haman, who is facing a charge of rape, selling alcohol to an underage person and allowing, inducing and or encouraging an underage person to consume alcohol, said his version was misunderstood by the lower court, which subsequently resulted in him being denied bail.
He has since denied the allegations.
“The victim was never raped or slept with. We were never caught by anyone or even the victim did not tell anyone on her own that she was raped,” said Haman.
He said, due to his incarceration, he was unable to give proper evidence to substantiate his reasons why he needed to be released on bail.
It is his argument that during the bail application, the State questioned his witnesses on the allegations against him, rather than his character as a father of four, businessman and breadwinner of his family.
On 7 July, magistrate Unchen Konjore denied Haman bail, saying he was not a good candidate for bail – granting him bail would not be in the interest of the public or administration of justice. Konjore said Haman during the hearing admitted to having had sexual intercourse with the victim, despite claiming it was consensual.
“The accused (Haman) said the child looked older and seems to infer that the sexual act was consensual,” said Konjore.
According to the magistrate, there is a likelihood of Haman interfering with the victim, who is a minor.
The court further indicated that according to the statement by the victim’s guardian, she walks past Haman’s residence every day on her way to school.
“Thus, I am not convinced that the granting of bail on condition of no-contact would even safeguard the victim. She is a 12-year-old child, and the court cannot guarantee that the accused will not make contact with her if he has already been to her residence with his family shortly after the incident allegedly occurred,” explained Konjore.
Prosecution is alleging Haman, who owns a bar, lured the victim with alcohol and sexually violated her.
The hearing continues before Judge Claudia Claasen.