A MAN convicted of having repeatedly raped and assaulted a disabled woman in a village in northern Namibia is now facing a stint of at least 25 years behind bars, after he was sentenced to life imprisonment near the end of last week.
Simon Nambuli (50) committed "wicked offences" when he raped a 50-year-old woman in her home at a village in the Eenhana district in July 2010, judge Johanna Salionga commented when she sentenced Nambuli in the Oshakati High Court on Thursday last week.
She also remarked that Nambuli "brutally assaulted and mishandled" the woman he was found to have raped, and noted that he used a knife to threaten the woman on each of the four occasions when he entered her bedroom at night and proceeded to rape her. The complainant, who is physically disabled and uses a wheelchair, was not able to defend herself or run away when Nambuli targeted her, the judge noted further.
Judge Salionga convicted Nambuli near the end of July on four charges of rape, one count of housebreaking with intent to rape and rape, two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and a count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Two of the rape charges were connected to the same night, when Nambuli, according to the complainant, raped her twice in her bedroom. The complainant also told the court that after the first incident, Nambuli again came to her bedroom during three subsequent nights. On each occasion, he was armed with a knife, she said.
On the second night that he came to her room, he forced open her door, entered the room and went on to rape her, she said.
She further told the court that he assaulted her by hitting her in the face, throwing her to the floor, and later stepping on her and kicking her when she told him on the third night that he entered her room that she did not want him there.
During the fourth night that he came to her bedroom and raped her, she also testified, he again assaulted her, slapping her, throwing her to the floor and kicking her, while he also stabbed her on her forehead, ripped an earring out of her ear, and hit her on her back with a spade.
When the woman was taken to a clinic on 9 July 2010 to have her injuries examined and treated, Nambuli threatened to kill her if she told staff at the clinic that he was responsible for the assault that had left her injured, and instructed her to report that she had been injured by robbers who had stolen money from her during the night.
Nambuli had also been convicted of rape and robbery in March 2000, the judge was informed after she had delivered her verdict in the trial.
During the sentencing, judge Salionga commented that Nambuli's record showed he "is a danger to society and to women in particular, and deserves to be sent to jail for a long period".
She sentenced him to a term of life imprisonment on the first two rape charges, which emanated from the first incident, and to a 25-year jail term on each of the other three rape counts and the housebreaking and rape charge as well. On each of the assault charges, Nambuli was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, while he was further given a one-year jail term for attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. In terms of the Correctional Service Act, all of the other prison terms imposed on Nambuli will run concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment, which in effect will be a period of at least 25 years in jail before he can be considered for release on parole.
Nambuli was not legally represented during his trial. Deputy prosecutor general Johan Pienaar represented the state.