Namibia: Rape Suspects Remanded in Custody

TWO men accused of raping a 15-year-old girl were denied bail when they made their first appearance in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Jakob Swartbooi (25) and Adam Baisako (20) were arraigned on rape charges yesterday but was not asked to plead.

State prosecutor Colleen Yisa opposed granting of bail to the suspects fearing that they might interfere with witnesses and in the public interest.

She argued that the state had a strong prima facie case against the suspects.

Magistrate Uchen Konjore postponed the case to 2 February to allow for further police investigations.

Both suspects indicated that they will apply for legal aid.

It is alleged the suspects raped the girl last Friday at farm Gainachas in //Kharas region between 20h00 and 21h00.

The girl was attending a dance at one house with friends, and the suspects allegedly grabbed and dragged her for about 150 metres to a nearby riverside where they allegedly took turns to rape her.

Pending cases

Anna Swartbooi, a cousin of both suspects, yesterday castigated the two suspects.

"As a woman, and a relative of them, I do not support the embarrassing act they committed," she said.

She said only last week one of the suspects had a criminal case withdrawn against him.

//Kharas police acting crime investigations coordinator chief inspector Billy Kotungondo, yesterday confirmed that both suspects had pending cases.

He said Baisako has a pending case of housebreaking, and Swartbooi a case of assault on a police officer, adding both suspects were out on bail.

The senior cop said Baisako was arrested last week after failing to appear in court on the housebreaking case but was released on a contempt of court charge, he added.

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