13 September 2017

Namibia: Man Denies Brutal Henties Bay Murder

A YOUNG man facing four charges in connection with the brutal killing and alleged rape of a teenage girl at Henties Bay in May 2014 denied guilt on all counts when his trial began in the Windhoek High Court on Monday.

Jandre Jacques de Klerk (27) denied killing the 13-year-old Rachel Vanessa Boois during the night of 3 to 4 May 2014, and also denied that he had met or seen Boois at the time she was killed, defence lawyer Titus Mbaeva told judge Alfred Siboleka after De Klerk gave his plea at the start of his trial.

De Klerk had some admissions that he wanted to make as well. Mbaeva informed the judge that according to his client, he had consensual sex with Boois before she was killed, but he could not remember the exact date when that happened.

His instructions were that he did not know Boois was still a minor when they had a sexual encounter, and also did not know it was a crime to have intercourse with a minor, Mbaeva added.

De Klerk went on trial on a count of murder, two charges of rape, and a charge of violating a dead human body in connection with the circumstances in which Boois was killed.

The state is alleging that he raped Boois at Henties Bay during the night of 3 to 4 May 2014 and murdered her by suffocating her with his hands. After she had been killed, he also broke her neck, and violated her body by inserting a stick into her private parts, the state is also charging.

De Klerk was on bail on an earlier rape charge when Boois was allegedly raped and killed.

He is charged with a count of rape and housebreaking with intent to rape as a result of that earlier incident, which allegedly took place when he broke open the door of a shack in the Omdel area of Henties Bay during the night of 14 to 15 June 2013, undressed himself, climbed into the bed of a woman sleeping in the shack, and raped her.

He fled after the woman woke up, but left his underpants at the scene, the prosecution is alleging.

Mbaeva told the judge De Klerk's version was that he entered the shack in question through an open door, took off his clothes, and suggested to the woman inside that he wanted to pay her for sex. She got angry and chased him out, and in the rush to get dressed and go he left his underpants at the scene, Mbaeva said.

Boois' body was found in a half-built house in the Omdel area of Henties Bay on 4 May 2014.

De Klerk declined answering any questions about the merits of the charges he is facing when he had a bail hearing in the High Court about six months ago.

During the bail hearing, the court was informed that he was arrested in February 2015, after genetic tests linked him to DNA samples collected from Boois' body. De Klerk offered an explanation for that incriminating evidence in the plea explanation that Mbaeva relayed to the judge. If evidence linking him was found on Boois' body, it originated from their earlier sexual encounter, Mbaeva said on De Klerk's behalf.

De Klerk is remaining in custody, after his request to be granted bail was turned down in March.

The trial is continuing. Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef is representing the state.

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