Namibia: Rape Accused Hostel Superintendent to Get New Lawyer

Windhoek — The trial of a former hostel superintendent accused of raping 10 boys at Karundu Primary School in Otjiwarongo has come to a standstill in order for the accused to get a new legal counsel.

The accused, Mervin Nguyapeua, 48, is currently on trial in Windhoek High Court on 32 charges of rape and 27 alternative charges of committing sexual acts involving 10 boys younger than 16 from 2013 to 2015.

This was at the time when he was employed as caretaker at that school hostel.

Nguyapeua's Legal Aid funded defense counsel Milton Engelbrecht withdrew from the case due to conflicting instructions and language barrier. Nguyapeua is due to get a new lawyer. Judge Alfred Siboleka informed Nguyapeua that his new lawyer needs to be placed on record before the trial can resume. Furthermore, new trial dates need to be set. The court gave a return date of July 19.

Nguyapeua who is currently in police custody was arrested shortly after a case of sexual molestation was opened against him the Otjiwarongo Police Station in March 2016. According to the charge sheet, Nguyapeua allegedly committed the offences while living at the hostel of that school. He was regarded as a father figure by learners who stayed in the hostel at the time.

According to the state, the very first incident occurred during the second school term of 2013, when Nguyapeua allegedly raped a 14-year-old boy, and further sexually assaulted other boys during 2014, 2015, and in February 2016.

Nguyapeua has denied guilt when he took a no guilty plea at the start of his trial. He did not disclose anything in respect of his no guilty plea to the charges. The accused is now challenging the prosecution to prove each and every element contained in the charges against him.

So far, two witnesses have taken the stand to testify and more are expected to testify when the trial resumes.

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