WINDHOEK - Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday sentenced Brendan van Wyk, 33, a resident of the seaside town of Swakopmund, to 30 years’ direct imprisonment on three convictions of rape.
Van Wyk was convicted by Judge Usiku in the High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility on three counts of rape, but acquitted on a fourth rape count and a count of attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice.
Judge Usiku sentenced Van Wyk to 15 years on each rape conviction, but ordered that the sentence on the third conviction run concurrently with the sentence on the second conviction.
Judge Usiku said that in her view the facts on the commission of the crimes are “shocking and chilling”.
“They were committed barely four days apart,” the judge said and continued: “One can imagine if accused had not been arrested soon after the crimes were reported, he could probably have repeated his crimes.” She further said society needs to be protected from the likes of the accused and as such justice demands that the accused is sentenced to long prison terms.
What carries considerable weight, the judge said, is that Van Wyk has to date not shown any remorse whatsoever for the terrible crimes he committed against a pregnant woman and a girl child who was only 15 years old at the time.
She went on to say that the girl child was on her way to school when Van Wyk waylaid her and attacked her by threatening her with a knife.
“She will have to live with the scar of having been raped for the rest of her life,” Judge Usiku remarked and added that it must have been a traumatic event for her.
With regards to the pregnant victim, the judge said that she suffered a brutal invasion of her right to privacy and dignity which are guaranteed by the Constitution.
“Accused even after he was informed that she was expecting child did not stop, but went on with his evil deed and threatened to kick out her unborn child,” the judge stated.
She went on to say that Van Wyk did not show any mercy towards his victims and should therefore feel the full weight of the law.
According to Judge Usiku, she is alive to the fact that sentences to be meted out for rape will look heavy due to the cumulative effect, but she is of the view that it is just and proper for each crime of rape to be treated on its own right because the Namibian Constitution protects each person’s basic rights including the right to privacy and dignity on individual and not collective basis.
It is thus desirable for each victim to receive justice as an individual and within her own right, the judge stated.
She further said that Van Wyk has shown that he is not capable of rehabilitation as his string of previous convictions prove, and he is a danger to society that needs to be removed for a considerable period of time.
Van Wyk was represented by legal aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube and the State by Advocate Palmer Khumalo.