OSHAKATI – Businessman Sindano Hango, whose rape case dragged on for about three years, on Wednesday walked away a free man after he was acquitted in the Oshakati Regional Court.
Sindano was accused of raping his cousin on October 12, 2014 and bribing her with N$10 000 to withdraw the rape charge.
He has since November 2016 been on bail of N$6 000.
Presiding Magistrate Leopoldt Hangalo during his judgement said having considered the evidence he was not convinced a rape was committed.
“Having considered the evidence I have doubt that there was rape committed. I am obliged to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Hangalo said.
Hango maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
According to his version, Hango maintained the whole act was orchestrated and that it was the victim’s brainchild that he give her N$10 000 to take care of her personal needs.
He told the court during the trial the victim wanted money to visit her boyfriend in Keetmanshoop.
Hango also maintained the sex was consensual and there was no coercion. His version was however disputed by the victim.
According to the victim the acquitted Hango had sexual intercourse without her consent and later sent his family to talk her into withdrawing the case in exchange for N$10 000.
The victim also testified during the trial proceedings that the case’s initial investigation officer also tried to talk her into withdrawing the case.
According to the testimonies heard in court, the investigating officer claimed that given his status as a businessperson he was capable of getting a good lawyer to aid him win the case.
The victim said Hango forced himself on her by holding her arms to the back while the one hand forcefully removed the tight jeans and underwear she was wearing at the time.
During the scuffle the victim claims she fell to the floor and then fled to a room where Hango followed her, threw her to the bed and forcefully penetrated her.
The victim also testified she informed several family members about the rape of whom some attempted to talk her out of registering a case while some advised her to pursue the case.
Hango was represented by Frieda Kishi while the state was represented by Prosecutor Nelao ya France.