Namibia: Ex-Magistrate Denies Rape Charges

A former magistrate charged with multiple counts of rape and kidnapping denied any wrongdoing when his trial began yesterday in the Windhoek High Court.

Jaco Kennedy (33) and his cousin Raymond Cloete (33) both pleaded not guilty to the charges and did not provide a plea explanation, citing that the onus is on the state to prove the allegations levelled against them.

Kennedy is charged with three counts of rape and charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and alternatively hindering the duties of an authorised officer. Cloete is charged with two counts of rape and a count of kidnapping.

The state is alleging that on 3 January 2015, Kennedy and Cloete attacked a woman between the Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura Intermediate Hospital after they offered her transport from Otjomuise to the Windhoek city centre.

The state further alleges that Kennedy tried to murder the victim by assaulting and strangling her.

On the charge of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and alternatively hindering the duties of an authorised officer, the state is claiming Kennedy assaulted a police officer who wanted to arrest him. He is further accused of authoring a statement in which the victim claimed she was not raped.

Namibian police sergeant Lukas Kapolo was the state's first witness and one of the first officers on the crime scene.

He testified that on the date in question, he and his colleagues were directed to the scene by the security guard who had made the call to the police.

Kapolo's testimony says they found a silver Polo vehicle with a passenger door open and Kennedy emerged from the car. As they were trying to apprehend him, a scuffle started.

"This man was so aggressive and had a knife in his hand. We could not contain him," explained Kapolo.

The police allegedly only managed to apprehend Kennedy after several police officers arrived at the scene.

While the scuffle was ongoing, a naked man emerged from the car and was later identified as Cloete. Kapolo testified that Cloete's clothes were on top of the car.

Kapolo informed the court that the victim later emerged from the car with her skirt pulled up to her waist.

"You could see everything. She appeared to be troubled and was very emotional. She then informed us that she took a hike and that is how she ended up where we found her," narrated Kapolo.

The duo's trial is currently ongoing in the High Court before judge Kobus Miller.

They are out on bail of N$3 000 each.

However, Kennedy found himself back in police custody after he was arrested on similar charges a year later. He picked up a woman waiting for a taxi to take her to her workplace on the morning of 31 December 2015 and drove with her to a spot where he allegedly raped her. He was arrested at the end of January 2016.

The duo is represented by Boris Isaacks and Milton Engelbrecht.

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