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Rape convict fights for a single cell

2022-08-25  Maria Amakali

Rape convict fights for a single cell

A man serving 14 years imprisonment for sexually violating a six-year-old minor girl is fighting to remain accommodated in a single cell while serving his sentence as he fears for his life.

Maiba Kolela Jonathan (23) wants the court to compel the head of the prison at the Walvis Bay correctional facility, assistant commissioner Frans Windstaan to return him to a single cell. He also seeks the court to declare his removal from the single cell as unlawful.  

Jonathan further seeks the court to order the correctional officers to protect his life and interdict them from subjecting him to “torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The officers should also be restrained from verbally threatening him for launching the current application.

According to Jonathan, he launched the application after he was removed from the single cell where he was placed after being assaulted by “gang members” in the correctional facility.

Jonathan was allegedly assaulted on 31 July 2021 on the orders of the prison’s “gang leader”. He was treated for injuries and opened a case of assault on 11 August 2021. 

On 13 March 2022, he was removed from the general cells and placed in a single cell, where he remained for nine months. 

Jonathan said, since opening the case, he has been subjected to “torture, inhumane treatment, and discrimination infringed upon by members of the Namibian police whom this country trusted to protect its citizens”. When he complained, correctional officers allegedly threatened to relocate him to Ondangwa correctional facility. Furthermore, the “gang members” who assaulted him were released without being charged. 

Windstaan has since refuted Jonathan’s allegations. He said there was no reason to keep Jonathan in a single cell, as there was no imminent danger to him. He said, according to their 20 June transfer report, Jonathan has been permanently transferred to Windhoek Correctional Facility so he may attend psychosocial rehabilitation programmes.

“At the time of the incident, it was believed that the perpetrators belonged to a gang, however, this turned out not to be true,” said Windstaan.

Thus, there was no reason to keep him accommodated in a single cell. Windstaan explained that an inmate cannot be kept in a single cell for an indefinite period without a valid reason.

Judge Eileen will hear the urgent application on 6 September.

2022-08-25  Maria Amakali

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