Roland Routh WINDHOEK – State Advocate Inocencia Niyoni yesterday closed the State’s case in the trial of Bertus Koch who is accused of the rape and trafficking of children on diverse occasions in the DRC settlement of Swakopmund A greater part of the trial, which is being heard by High Court Judge President and Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, was conducted behind closed doors in camera as the victims are all under the age of 18 years. The State is alleging that Koch, 40, raped five girls, aged nine, 11, 12 and 13 years old during the period November 2015 to May 2016 in his zinc house at the DRC area of Swakopmund. According to the indictment he lured them into his house with the promises of food and sweets, then locked them up and raped them on several occasions. He is facing five counts of child trafficking and five counts of rape, alternatively committing a sexual act with a child below the age of 16 years. It is alleged that he called the minor complainants – who lived in the same location as he – to his shack saying he wanted them to go buy cigarettes/tobacco for him. When they returned from the shop he would lock his shack and order the girls to undress and out of fear they would obey. It is further alleged that he would proceed to put baby oil on his fingers and touch their private parts and also lick their privates before violating them physically. He would threaten to kill them if they told anyone what happened. He would then call the minors again to his residence offering them food, bread, money (N$2.50 and N$3.00) and hairspray, among other things, before repeating what he had done to them before. This was a regular thing until the happenings came to light during May 2016 and he was arrested. Yesterday the investigating officer in the matter, Warrant Officer Ndapunikwa Kakuna Haimbodi, testified that she was called to the DRC after the incidents came to light and she conducted interviews with the victims. According to her, four of the victims told her there was a man living in a small house in their neighbourhood who called them to his house, gave them food and sweets then locked them inside his room and touched their private parts. She further said the girls told her there were pictures of naked women on his walls and that he put baby oil on his hands when he touched them. She further testified that she went to the room showed to her by the girls and found everything as was described to her. She then called the scene of crime officers who took pictures of everything before she took it down as exhibits. Koch is expected to testify today in his own defence when the trial continues. He is represented by legal aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-02 09:27:01 5 months ago