Outjo Rape and Murder Evidence Disputed

A RULING on the admissibility of self-incriminating statements allegedly made by an Outjo area resident facing a charge of murder and multiple counts of rape is due to be delivered in the Windhoek High Court near the end of February.

Judge Nate Ndauendapo yesterday heard oral arguments at the end of a trial within a trial on the admissibility of the statements allegedly made by Johannes Likuwa Hausiku (40), and scheduled the delivery of his ruling on the admissibility of the evidence for 26 February.

Hausiku is claiming that he was assaulted by police officers before he made the statements, that the officers gave him instructions about what he had to say when he made the statements, and that his rights had not been properly explained to him before he allegedly implicated himself in respect of some of the crimes he is accused of having committed.

Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji asked Judge Ndauendapo yesterday to rule that a statement made by Hausiku to a police officer at Outjo after his arrest in June 2012, an alleged confession that he made before a magistrate on 25 July 2012, and the record of the pleas that he gave to the charges he was facing during an appearance in the Outjo Magistrate’s Court in late September 2012, would not be admissible as evidence in his trial.

State aocate Ethel Ndlovu argued that all of the contested statements were made freely and voluntarily by Hausiku, and should be admitted as evidence in his trial.

Hausiku denied guilt on 15 charges – eight counts of rape, a charge of murder, two counts of attempted rape, two counts of kidnapping, a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances and a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so – at the beginning of his trial three weeks ago.

The prosecution is alleging that he kidnapped a woman at Outjo while she was walking home from a shebeen during the night of 28 to 29 January 2012, that he then raped her repeatedly, and robbed her by stealing a cellphone from her.

Hausiku is further accused of having tried to rape a woman at Outjo on the night of 29 January 2012 when he allegedly attacked her after she, too, had visited a shebeen.

Six of the 15 charges faced by Hausiku flow from an incident in which a third woman, who had also been drinking at shebeens at Outjo, was allegedly raped during the night of 30 to 31 May 2012. During that incident the woman’s two-year-old son was killed when he was allegedly stabbed with a knife and struck on the head with a blunt object.

During the trial within a trial, Magistrate Khaepriums Swartz, who was based at Outjo during 2012, told Judge Ndauendapo that he recorded a statement that Hausiku made before him on 25 July 2012. Swartz said he delayed recording the statement by two days to give Hausiku time to think and to be sure that he wanted to make an alleged confession.

Swartz said he explained Hausiku’s rights to him before he made the statement, informed him that he was not obliged to make a statement, and was told by Hausiku that he had not been assaulted or threatened by anybody to compel him to make the statement.

Hausiku claimed during the trial within a trial that some of his teeth had been knocked out when he was assaulted by police officers on the day before he made the statement to the magistrate.

Swartz testified he did not notice any injuries on Hausiku or discomfort on his part when he recorded the statement.

Hausiku is being kept in custody.

Source : The Namibian