Windhoek — Two men accused of breaking into a cuca shop at Oshapwa village and robbing the shop assistant after one of them raped her were convicted by Oshakati High Court Judge Marlene Tommasi last week.
Shihepo Onesmus and Sebastian Angula both faced two counts of housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery while Angula alone faced two additional charges of rape and forcing the complainant to drink alcohol in order to stupefy or overpower her. The incident happened on August 22, 2011.
Judge Tommasi however found that the State did not prove the allegation that the complainant was forced to drink alcohol to stupefy her.
She blasted the crime of scene officer for a sloppy job.
According to her, the police did a poor job and if it was not for the credible evidence of the complainant and the admission of Onesmus that he was at Oshapwa village during the incident and the admissions made in the lower court proceedings, things could have turned out differently.
The complainant testified that she was asleep when she was awakened by a noise and she saw that her door was opened and both accused entered her bedroom, threatened to kill her while brandishing a panga and knives if she did not give them money.
She gave them N$570 from her bag, but this was not enough and they forced her to open the bar where she opened the safe under threat of a knife pointed at her throat, the complainant said.
Onesmus then went inside the bar and returned with beer and brandy which they forced her to drink and Onesmus then returned to the bar and this was when Angula raped her, she further said.
Judge Tommasi said that the complainant's testimony was not shaken during cross-examination and neither was there any material inconsistencies in her testimony.
On the issue of whether the door to her room was damaged, the judge said the evidence of the crime of scene officer had to be rejected as he dismally failed to collect evidence from the crime scene.
She said the testimonies of the other officers who followed the shoeprints of the accused from the bar to the house of Onesmus and found both Onesmus and Angula there was sufficient to prove their involvement.
"Having weighed the evidence in its totality, I conclude that it is safe to rely on the testimony of the complainant as I find her evidence credible," Judge Tommasi said and continued: "I am satisfied the truth has been told. Both accused on the other hand were not credible witnesses."
She however said that she could not find that the intention of Angula when he forced the complainant to drink alcohol was to stupefy her into having carnal relations with him, but found that Angula indeed had forceful intercourse with her against her will.
In the result, the judge found both accused guilty of housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances and Angula guilty of rape.
They will return to court for pre-sentencing procedures on July 12.
Onesmus was represented by Petrine Hango on instructions of Legal Aid and Onesmus represented himself while the prosecution was handled by Advocate Taedago Gaweseb.