17 January 2019

Namibia: Keetmans Teacher's Abduction Case Postponed

The Keetmanshoop Magistrate's Court yesterday postponed the case of Valerie Bock, a former Suiderlig High School teacher at Keetmanshoop accused of abducting a 15-year-old Grade 9 girl after a Section 205 application filed by the state, until 19 March.

Section 205 allows a judge or magistrate to summon anyone who is likely to give material or relevant information on any alleged offence.

A person who refuses to appear or fails to give the required information can be sentenced to imprisonment if the magistrate or the judge is of the opinion that the furnishing of such information is necessary for the administration of justice, or the maintenance of law and order.

Bock faces five counts of abduction and two counts of committing an immoral act.

She had been released during her first appearance in the Keetmans-hoop Magistrate's Court on bail on condition that she does not make any contact with the girl, who is a pupil at the PK de Villiers High School at Keetmanshoop.

She allegedly lured the girl by offering her and other schoolgirls food, clothes, cellphones and shoes for inappropriate sexual contacts with her.

The girl's mother earlier told The Namibian that she first reported the alleged inappropriate relationship between her daughter and the teacher to the police on 19 April last year, hoping that it would come to an end.

The state submitted during yesterday's hearing that it had abandoned its application for the bail of Bock to be cancelled.

Prosecutor Lewis Chigunwe had during a court hearing in November made an urgent application for the cancellation of Bock's bail, saying she had breached her bail conditions during October that year by making contact with the victim, whose name cannot be disclosed to protect her identity.

Lawyer Florian Beukes is representing Bock.

- luqman@namibian.com.na

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