New Era (Windhoek)

22 November 2012

Namibia: Court Dismisses Rape Appeal of Two Convicts

Windhoek — An application for leave to appeal a rape conviction and sentence by Albert Manyando Simubali and Kalenga Vilho Natangwe, who were charged, convicted and sentenced to 15 and 18 years respectively for rape, failed dismally in the Windhoek High Court when Appeal Judges Alfred Siboleka and Nate Ndauendapo dismissed it.

The judgment was delivered yesterday. In the Katima Mulilo Regional Court it was found that the crime occurred under coercive circumstances.

Dissatisfied with the outcome the two convicts appealed to the High Court to have their sentences reduced, but their bid failed. They are now seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The court held that in order for the applicants to be heard they first had to clear the first hurdle, which is to provide reasons by way of an affidavit why they did not file their notice of appeal in time. The second obstacle in their way was to convince the court that should the appeal be granted, another court would arrive at a different conclusion, meaning that they would have reasonable prospects of success on appeal.

It was noted by the court that the two merely pleaded ignorance as the reason for the late filing.

The judges further held that Simubali and Natangwe's application for leave to appeal was filed two months and two weeks after the prescribed period had expired, and looking at the merits there are no reasonable prospects of success on appeal.

The judges further stated that the medical report showed that the complainant sustained injuries consistent with someone who was in a struggle and that sand was found on her clothes and dry grass in her privates. They also found that the evidence of rape against them was solid, because they did not even challenge or dispute it.

The judges concluded by saying that there are no prospects that another court will make a ruling in favour of the two and subsequently dismissed the application.

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