OSHAKATI – Two suspects implicated in a human trafficking case made a brief appearance in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court, each on a charge of trafficking in person, kidnapping and two counts of rape.
The victim is allegedly a 15-year-old girl.
In addition, 18-year-old Sylvia Bonifatius faces an additional charge, under the Immoral Practices Act, of drugging a woman for unlawful carnal intercourse.
Her accomplice, the 32-year-old Fredricks Jacobus Steven van Zyl, faces an additional charge, under the same Act, of using means to stupefy a woman for unlawful carnal intercourse.
Bonifatius was arrested on Sunday last week while van Zyl was arrested on Tuesday.
State prosecutor Nelao ya France objected bail and the matter was remanded to October 2 to allow Bonifatius to acquire a lawyer and for formal bail application.
Van Zyl was represented by Petrine Hango of Dr Welder, Kauta and Hoveka Inc.
The state objected bail on grounds that the case is serious and that it was not in public interest to release the accused.
Ya France further stated that there is a risk to abscond and fear that the accused persons would interfere with state witnesses and the ongoing investigation.
Hango also applied to the court to have Van Zyl detained at the Ongwediva Police Station for his safety.
He was detained at the Oshakati holding cells following his arrest.
Magistrate Helena Ekandjo granted the request.
Ekandjo however did not give in to the request for a cellphone belonging to van Zyl’s employer, Namibia Medical Services to be handed back.
Hango applied that the cellphone be handed over to Namibia Medical Services as it was losing out on business because it has been switched off.
The cellphone in question was found in possession of van Zyl at the time of his arrest.
Magistrate Ekandjo turned down the application citing that the court does not make orders on articles that are not before court.
Although the details are still sketchy, Police Acting Public Relations Officer in Oshana Region Inspector Petrus Iimbili said it is alleged Bonifatius invited the victim to her house and ended up giving her to van Zyl
A search was launched after the victim went missing and when Bonifatius, who is a friend to the victim, was questioned, she informed the police that she was being kept at a residence in Oshakati.
The victim was allegedly relocated to Ondangwa and was in the process to be transported to one of the coastal towns when the police found her.
It is alleged that the victim was found in the company of van Zyl.
Further, unconfirmed reports suggest that the victim was lured to quit school and was promised a new school at one of the coastal towns.
It is further alleged that the victim had agreed to the promises and had returned her books at the school in Oshana Region.
2018-09-24 09:13:09 5 months ago