21 May 2019

Namibia: Pastor in Court for Allegedly Raping Daughter

A PASTOR appeared in the Okahandja Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly raping his daughter.

Police deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi told The Namibian today that the suspect (55) was granted N$5 000 bail after he made a formal bail application in court.

The pastor, whose name cannot be disclosed to protect the victim's identity, was arrested for five counts of rape and incest.

Kanguatjivi said this was the pastor's second court appearance in connection with the matter after he made an initial appearance on 3 May following his arrest on 30 April. Kanguatjivi declined to comment further.

The Namibian, however, understands that the suspect was arrested after his 30-year-old daughter fell pregnant, and was suspected to have induced an abortion or concealed the birth of a child. Community members raised eyebrows about what had become of the woman's pregnancy.

A source familiar with the matter said this was about the sixth time the woman had concealed birth or induced an abortion of pregnancy that was a result of the alleged rape. The rape, the source said, allegedly started in 2006 after the suspect's wife died in 2005. His daughter was 17 years old at the time.

Although The Namibian was informed that the woman was arrested for concealment of birth, Kanguatjivi did not confirm this.

In recent years, The Namibian has reported on cases where men allegedly raped their young daughters. In 2018, a 52-year-old man was arrested at Opuwo after he was accused of raping his six-year-old daughter.

Police inspector Pendukeni Haikali had said in a report that at an unknown time at the Katutura location at the town, the girl started complaining of back and lower abdomen pain.

"She was taken to the Opuwo State Hospital, where nurses discovered that she had been raped, and they called the police. It was then discovered that the suspect was the child's biological father," Haikali said.

In another incident, reported by this newspaper, a 37-year-old man appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate's Court on a charge of raping his 11-year-old daughter in 2016.

The daughter said her father would take her into the bushes at a village in the Zambezi region, where he would sexualy assault her. The abuse, the court heard, happened between June and August that year. The first incident is said to have occured while the girl's mother was not at home.

The matter came to light after the girl was forced to confess. The mother had assaulted her because she suspected that the girl was in a sexual relationship with someone else.

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