Ex-Magistrate Faces Gang Rape Charge

A FORMER magistrate is at the centre of an alleged gang rape incident which took place in the capital over the weekend.

The 28-year-old Jaco Marius Kennedy and a co-accused, Ray Cloete (also 28), made a brief appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura yesterday afternoon.

They appeared on a charge of rape before Magistrate Gerrit von Pletzen.

According to warrant officer Pendukeni Haikali, a police spokesperson, the alleged rape took place between Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura State Hospital near the medical campus of the University of Namibia (Unam) on Saturday.

She said the incident is believed to have taken place between 19h00 and 20h00.

It is alleged that the two accused Khomasdal residents offered the 43-year-old complainant, who has a four-month-old baby, a lift from town to Otjomuise where she stays.

En route to this suburb, the accused allegedly deviated from the route and drove to the road combining the two hospitals instead.

A security guard is said to have witnessed the incident and alerted the police.

Haikali yesterday said the police’s emergency unit was dispersed and rushed to the scene.

A source close to the investigation said that one accused was caught in the act while allegedly busy having sexual intercourse with the woman and the other accused was naked too.

They were both arrested at the scene and have been in custody in the police holding cells at the Katutura police station since then.

Public prosecutor Anthony Wilson, who represented the State yesterday, opposed bail.

He said the complainant had deposed of a statement in which she states she fears for her life if the accused were to be released on bail. Also, the families of the accused allegedly approached the complainant to withdraw the charges against the two men.

Wilson asked for the matter to be postponed until Thursday, 26 February, for further police investigations to be carried out.

During their brief appearance before Magistrate Von Pletzen, Milton Engelbrecht, who acted on behalf of the accused, successfully applied to the court for the accused to be transferred to the holding cells at the Hosea Kutako International Airport.

This, Engelbrecht said, was based on Kennedy fearing for his safety on account of his standing in society as a former magistrate. Furthermore, Cloete is under medical treatment and the overcrowded holding cells at the Katutura police station are not conducive for him.

It is understood that the men will lodge a formal bail application next week.

On behalf of the police, Haikali yesterday urged women to be very cautious when they accept a lift from strangers.

Source : The Namibian