WINDHOE - State Advocate Marthino Olivier has asked Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku to convict a man, already convicted of murdering a 16-year-old girl near a cemetery at Mariental, of a further three counts of rape, two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Hendrik Atab Swartz admitted that he killed 16-year-old Estonovia Games, but denied two charges of rape, two counts of attempted murder, another count of rape alternatively crimen injuria and one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Swartz was adamant when he testified in his own defence that even though he killed the teenager, he was not guilty of the other crimes attributed to him. He was convicted on the murder count and the trial proceeded on the other counts.
During submissions on the verdict, his State funded lawyer, Gert Appolus asked the court to give Swartz the benefit of doubt and acquit him on the rape and the other charges he is facing in lieu of his guilty plea on the murder count. According to the State, Swartz raped and attempted to murder a 19-year-old woman in his shack at Mariental on May 01, 2013 as well as attacking a 12-year-old girl at the town on March 25, 2016, and that he strangled and raped her before a witness came to her rescue, and he fled from the scene.
The assault charge stems from the attempted murder and rape charge involving the 19-year old woman. According to the indictment, the complainant and friends were walking towards Aimablaagte in Mariental when the accused came towards them with an open knife and made stabbing motions towards Stephanus Thomas who avoided being stabbed by moving out of the way. Swartz then chased the 19-year old complainant with the open knife and eventually took her to his shack and stabbed her with the knife as well as strangling her and stuffing a piece of material into her mouth. It is further stated in the indictment that the victim lost consciousness and Swartz raped her. With regards to the rape charge involving the 12-year old complainant, it is alleged that the victim was walking home alone in the Ombili location in Mariental when Swartz attacked her and tied her hair band around her neck to strangle her and proceeded to rape her. During the rape a witness arrived at the scene and Swartz fled the scene, it is further alleged. On the murder and rape charge, it is alleged that the deceased was walking in the vicinity of the grave yard in Mariental when the accused pounced on her and raped her before he strangled her manually or with an object causing her to die on the scene. The 19-year old rape victim suffered a deep cut in her face and has told the court in her evidence in chief that she suffers from severe headaches which started about three months after her ordeal. Swartz was arrested near the end of October 2016 and has remained in custody ever since. The judge said she will deliver her judgment on April 08 at 10h00.