23 January 2013

Namibia: Suspect Claims Rape Victim Initiated Encounter

Windhoek — The second accused in an ongoing rape trial involving four young men who were still at school when the alleged crime was committed, took a dramatic twist yesterday when one of the accused claimed the complainant was the one who initiated the sexual encounter.

Twenty-year-old Uazenga Tjamuaha, who was just 15-years-old at the time of the alleged rape related to Judge Nate Ndauendapo and a courtroom filled with family and friends how the complainant was the one that made sexual advances on him and not the other way round.

According to Tjamuaha, after he failed to secure a lift to his village on the Friday of May 23 2008, he returned to his hostel dorm where he found the complainant lying on his bed.

After he enquired who was on his bed, he said, the person removed the blanket she was covered with and he realised that it was the complainant whom he knew as a classmate and a neighbour. He indicated to the court that he knew the complainant very well as their villages are adjacent to each other and that on many occasions they shared a minibus taxi to their respective destinations during holidays.

The youngster narrated that after he asked her what she was doing in his bed she replied that she was 'struggling' and when he enquired as to what that meant she replied, 'you know'.

He said that he went to the bed to hear what she had to say and as he sat down the complainant started to caress him and pull down her vest and bra to show him her breasts, he told the court.

"As a young man I started to get excited and started to romance the girl," Tjamuaha said.

According to the accused, the complainant then removed all her clothes and he also followed suit. They then proceeded to have carnal knowledge, Tjamuaha said and continued, "After we were finished the complainant dressed and left the room."

On a question from his lawyer, Titus Mbaeva, whether he forced himself onto the complainant, he answered: "I only went to my room to fetch my jacket as I was on my way to the location and I did not even know the girl was in my room."

Earlier on Tuesday the first accused, Johnson Matundu, vehemently denied being at the school on the day and time in question. He told the court, on questions from his lawyer, Monty Karuhaie, that he left the hostel at three in the afternoon of May 23, 2008.

According to Matundu, he did not even know about the alleged rape until he was called into his principal's office the next Wednesday when he was questioned about it.

Matundu and Tjamuhua are charged with 20 counts of rape together with Kahijambua Kamuingona as accused 3 and Utjatae Mureti as accused 4.

All four accused and the complainant were pupils at the Okakarara Secondary School at the time of the incident.

The State alleges that the complainant and some of her friends failed to secure a lift on that Friday to their respective homes where they were to spend the weekend off school and to return to the hostel. According to the indictment, the complainant and her friend were on their way later that evening to get food when Matundu and Tjamuaha stopped her, while her friends proceeded without her. It is further alleged that both of them then dragged the complainant to a nearby toilet where they took turns to rape her while one of them held her down.

The indictment further states that after the two boys were finished, they left the complainant crying in the toilet. She then started to walk to the hostel, still crying when she was called by Kamuingona. It is further alleged that Kamuingona threatened the complainant with a knife and pushed her towards the boys' hostel where he was joined by Matundu, Tjamuaha and Mureti who then took turns to violate her while the others held her down.

Kamuingona and Mureti are still to testify on their own behalf and are represented by Bronell Uirab and Edwin Coetzee respectively.

The case continues with Deputy Prosecutor General Karin Esterhuizen appearing for the State.

All the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them and were released into their parents' care at the start of their case.

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