30 July 2012

Namibia: 'Sleeping' Okahandja Rapist Jailed for Seven Years

AN Okahandja resident who fell into a deep sleep at the scene where he had raped a woman in October 2008 was sent to prison for an effective seven years on Friday.

Magistrate Sarel Jacobs sentenced Elvis Kheibeb in the Windhoek Regional Court to ten years' imprisonment, of which three years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that Kheibeb is not again convicted of rape committed during the period of suspension.

Kheibeb was sentenced two weeks after he had been convicted of rape.

He had been accused of raping a 39-year-old woman at Five Rand Camp at Okahandja in the early morning hours of October 7 2008.

Kheibeb pleaded not guilty to the charge, and told the court during his trial that he had been so drunk at the time of the alleged incident that he could not remember what happened.

The complainant told the court she was walking from a shebeen when she was attacked by someone coming from behind. The person punched her and kicked her and then, while threatening her with a knife, raped her, she told the court.

When he had done his deed, he rolled over and fell asleep, she related.

She took his knife and went to report the incident to the Police.

By the time the Police arrived at the scene, the sun was rising and Kheibeb was still thoroughly down and out. He was fast asleep, with his shorts still unbuttoned and the long trousers which he had been wearing lying next to him.

Magistrate Jacobs remarked on Friday that he did not think Kheibeb's explanation that he had been intoxicated at the time of the incident could be doubted.

He said the court was taking notice of the fact that rape is a prevalent offence in Namibia. Law and order must prevail in the society, and especially women, who, on a daily basis, are the victims of the offence of rape, expect the courts' protection against lawlessness, he said.

He added, though, that because of Kheibeb's drunken state at the time, his powers of restraint and self control were diminished, which is something the court also had to take into account.

The magistrate found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances present which warrant a deviation from the minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment prescribed by the Combating of Rape Act.

Kheibeb, who stood trial without legal representation, was 27 years old and unemployed when the crime was committed. He is a first-time offender and the father of one child, the court was told.

Public Prosecutor Cliff Lutibezi represented the State during the trial.

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