Rape accused prosecutor gets bail

Home National Rape accused prosecutor gets bail
Rape accused prosecutor gets bail

Roland Routh

Prominent criminal defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji secured bail for rape-accused public prosecutor Romeo Goagoseb in the Mariental Magistrate’s Court last week.

Goagoseb is accused of having had sexual relations with a woman in Mariental without her consent on 27 October 2022. While the charge-sheet is not clear on what actually happened, the accused explained that the charge was because he had laid a charge of assault against her for slapping him twice as well as for throwing him with a glass on his head.

The charge against the accused is that he inserted his finger in her private parts, and that is the reason she slapped him. However, the magistrate stated that nowhere in the charge-sheet is there any mention of “fingering”, and that the allegations are not supported by evidence before her.

Magistrate Unchen Konjore, who heard the bail application, furthermore found that there was no need for a formal bail application, and that the accused could have been released on stringent bail conditions at the first appearance already. Furthermore, she said, the reasons for objecting to bail in the first place was that he is a prosecutor with access to dockets, and was in a position to influence the course of the matter.

However, the magistrate said, even the investigating officer who claims to be the head of the Gender-Based Violence Unit in Mariental was at pains to explain such influence, and when asked during cross-examination to explain, could only choose not to comment on the issue.

Konjore further said there is no indication at what stage the investigation is, if there is even an investigation. Furthermore, she said the accused never tried to contact the complainant, and it is in fact the complainant who tried to contact him via text messages.

In her view, it would not be against the interest of the administration of justice if the accused is barred from the Mariental Magistrate’s Court where the files lie open for inspection. In fact, she said, it would allow the accused to return to work, and also put an end to the fear of the State about interference. It would allow the respondent, as his employer, to still have a choice to move him to a different station. He thus retains his employment and his ability to care for his child, and his access to the docket is eliminated, the magistrate stated.   

Konjore further said that she is satisfied that Goagoseb does not pose a flight risk, that he will clearly stand his trial, and even gave the court a blow-by-blow version of the events, while the complainant’s version remains missing from the record. She granted him bail in the amount of N$3 000, and ordered that he makes no direct or indirect contact with the Mariental Magistrate’s Court building, and keeps a distance of 1 000 metres from the magistrate’s court building.

The matter was postponed to 1 February 2023 for further investigations.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na