Windhoek — Three young men from Aminuis in the Omaheke Region will be sentenced tomorrow after acting Windhoek High Court Judge Orben Sibeya convicted them of one count of rape each this week.
Abram Keinamseb, Maatava Gamseb and Ricardo Siskae, who were 15 years old at the time of the event, were accused of raping a 13-year-old girl at Corridor 4 in Aminuis on 28 July 2015.
They each faced three rape counts, as two allegedly held down the complainant while the third violated her.
All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, with Gamseb and Siskae denying they were at the scene, while Gamseb said the complainant was his girlfriend and they had consensual intercourse.
Milton Engelbrecht, the state-funded legal representative of Gamseb, however, managed to have two of the rape counts discharged after he had applied for a Section 174 discharge for his client after the state had closed its case.
Judge Sibeya found that the state failed to prove the accused assisted one another to rape the complainant and found them not guilty on those charges, but did find that each of them had their turn to have intercourse with the girl against her will.
He further said with regards to the discrepancies between the statements and the oral testimonies of the state witnesses, it be remembered that witness statements are made to the police and do not always contain the whole evidence of a witness, and courts should be slow to discredit the said witness as such discrepancies may be an indication of honesty on the part of the witness as opposed to a witness who merely memorises his or her statement, which he said should be discouraged.
"Ultimately, the court should be concerned with determining whether the truth was told," the judge said.
He went on to say that the charges of rape were proven on the evidence of the complainant that all accused penetrated her while applying physical force and that she screamed - which evidence was corroborated by two of the state witnesses.
He further said the witnesses observed that the complainant was undressed and that Siskae was having intercourse with her when they arrived at the scene.
According to Judge Sibeya, the court concluded that despite minor imperfections in the complainant's evidence, that he is satisfied she told the truth, and that she was raped by the three accused persons.
He further said other state witnesses materially corroborated the complainant's evidence and to the contrary, the accused persons were not credible witnesses and appear to have tailor-made and fabricated evidence to prove their alleged evidence.
"The accused persons' evidence was unconvincing and leaves a bitter taste of possible rehearsal," the judge remarked.
He concluded by saying that the versions of the accused persons are improbable and are accordingly rejected as false beyond a reasonable doubt.