11 December 2018

Namibia: Rape Accused Claims His Victims Consented

Windhoek — A Swakopmund resident accused of raping a 14-year-old and another woman in the spate of five days after being released on bail on a previous rape charge, claimed his alleged victims consented.

Brendan van Wyk (33) testified last Thursday before High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku at the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility that the victims consented after he "proposed them for sex". This caused the prosecutor, Palmer Khumalo to tell van Wyk that he must be very charming and unlucky because the woman accepts his proposals for sex almost immediately after he proposes them and then shortly afterwards accused him of rape. Van Wyk already pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and one of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, alternatively obstructing a member of the police from carrying out his or her duties.

According to the indictment, van Wyk first raped a woman in her flat in Mondesa on May 4, 2015. It is alleged that he and the complainant went out for drinks that evening with friends and the accused and a friend offered her and her friend a lift at around midnight that night. After they dropped the complainant off, the accused followed her to bring her a cellphone she forgot in the car. As she entered her flat, the accused managed to force his way into the flat, grabbed her, threw her onto her bed and threatened to stab her with a knife if she scream. He then proceeded to have unlawful sexual intercourse with her, it is further stated.

Van Wyk counter-testified that the complainant invited him to her room after they were kissing and fondling each other during the car ride. He further said that after they finished having sex and he told her he is leaving, she said he cannot leave her like that, meaning she wanted money. The accused however, only had N$70 on him at the time and he could see she was not satisfied with the amount.

With regard to the attempt to defeat or obstruct the course of justice charge, it is alleged that on May 22, 2015, when police officers went to his residence to arrest the accused, he resisted and fought with the officers. Van Wyk defended himself saying he never resisted arrest or fought with the police officers.

With regard to the second rape count, it is alleged that on April 1, 2016, at around 06h30 in the morning, the 14-year-old girl was on her way to school when she met the accused near the Tamariskia Cemetery. He then joined her, it is stated, and he allegedly then pulled her into a small abandoned building and threatened her with a knife if she screamed. It is further alleged that van Wyk then instructed the girl to walk through the cemetery up to a certain point where he pushed her to the ground and proceeded to remove her trousers and defiled her. Van Wyk claimed that he and the young girl were in a relationship for almost a month before the alleged incident. According to him, he proposed the 14-year-old after meeting her in the street and she agreed to date him. He further said that on the day of the alleged incident, the complainant came to his residence early in the morning upset because her father only takes her siblings to school with his car while she has to walk. He said he then walked with her and on their way, he reminded her that he had asked her for sex the week before and she agreed to have sex with him if he can find a suitable place, and they then decided on the cemetery. He further said that while they were having intercourse, the girl told him she experienced pain and he immediately stopped.

The trial was postponed to January 18 next year, to give the defence time to locate a witness they wish to call named. Van Wyk remains in custody. He is represented by Legal Aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube.

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