Jail Time for Juvenile Rapists

Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Friday handed down jail sentences to four young men who committed rape when they were still minors. Johnson Matundu, Uazenga Tjamuaha, Kahijambua Kamuingona and Utjatae Mureti were visibly shocked when Judge Ndauendapo announced they would effectively spend the next seven to eight years behind bars.

The four men were convicted of gang-raping a fellow learner at Okakarara Secondary School when they were 16 years of age or younger and in grades 9 and 10.

In his sentencing remarks Judge Ndauendapo said what makes their crime heinous is the fact that the complainant was repeatedly gang-raped by the accused who were her fellow learners. “The victim was defenceless against the four accused and despite her plea(s) for them to stop they continued raping her, taking turns,” the judge said.

He said although the rape victim did not suffer physical injuries, the psychological harm was still visible when she testified in court. She was barely 17 at the time when her dignity and womanhood were violated by the perpetrators, he stressed.

According to Judge Ndauendapo violent crimes against women and children have reached an alarming rate and on a daily basis one reads in newspapers of crimes being committed against women and children.

He said that with gender-based violence so prevalent in Namibian society the courts are duty bound to send out a g message that they will impose severe sentences on offenders. Society expects from the courts to respond to their outcry against this evil, he said.

The judge said that while the defence counsels for the convicts proposed a wholly suspended sentence he could not agree, as it would send out a wrong message to society and juvenile would-be offenders. “They would think that it is okay to rape because the court will impose wholly suspended sentences.”

According to Judge Ndauendapo the accused had not shown any remorse for their actions. He said he observed them closely and that they displayed a sense of arrogance as if the complainant deserved what happened to her.

He said he was mindful the accused were juveniles when they committed the offence. According to the judge he considered the personal circumstances of the accused, but when he compared their personal circumstances with their actions, their actions far outweigh their personal circumstances. He however said the sentences to be imposed on them should not break them and that he believed they stand a good chance of being rehabilitated.

Judge Ndauendapo then sentenced Matundu and Tjamuaha to 43 years each of which 35 were ordered to run concurrently with the eight years for the first rape conviction and Kamuingona and Mureti to 28 years each of which 21 years were ordered to run concurrently with the seven years for the first rape conviction. They were convicted of 20 counts of rape altogether. Matundu and Tjamuaha were each convicted of six counts, while Kamuingona and Mureti were convicted on four counts each.

They were represented by Monty Karuaie, Titus Mbaeva, Bronell Uirab and Edwin Coetzee and Deputy Prosecutor General Karin Esterhuizen appeared for the State.

Source : New Era