Woman Repeats Rape Claims Against Engineer

A SECOND woman has testified in the Windhoek High Court that an engineer facing charges of rape and attempted murder assaulted, overpowered and raped her.

The woman completed her testimony in the trial of civil engineer Epafroditus Ndokotora Unengu (34) before Judge Christie Liebenberg on Tuesday.

Her testimony came to an end after Unengu’s defence lawyer, Sisa Namandje, told her that there were contradictions in her testimony in court and between her testimony and a witness statement she had made to the police, and that these alleged differences were an indication that she had made up her accusations against Unengu. The complainant stuck to her allegations that Unengu had raped her in the Kavango West region on 9 July 2011, though.

At one point in her testimony, after Namandje had told her that the reason why she was finding it difficult to be consistent in her version of events was because she was making things up, she retorted: “I cannot tell lies. Why should I fabricate things and accuse him if he has never done it?”

Her explanation when confronted with alleged contradictions in her testimony was that the incident that she was testifying about happened a long time ago, that she could no longer remember exact details of some aspects of the events, and that she had been scared during some of the time that she spent on the witness stand.

Unengu pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and three counts of attempted murder at the start of his trial on Thursday last week.

In a plea explanation he admitted that he had sexual intercourse with both complainants in the five charges, but claimed that the intercourse took place with the consent of the two women.

One of the complainants disputed this during her testimony at the end of last week.

The prosecution is alleging that Unengu raped and attempted to murder her in Windhoek on 6 November 2012, while he was free on bail on charges that were pending against him following the incident in Kavango West in July 2011.

The complainant in the Windhoek case told Judge Liebenberg that Unengu was the driver of a car that she had taken to be a taxi when she was picked up while on her way to an office of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Windhoek’s Northern Industrial Area.

She testified that after the driver had dropped off other passengers in the car, he drove to a spot in the vicinity of the Van Eck Power Station. She said he then instructed her to take off her clothes, grabbed her by her neck when she refused, and proceeded to rape her.

Unengu was interrupted by a car that was approaching the spot where he had parked, and she then took the opportunity to put her clothes back on and ran away from him, she said.

In his plea explanation Unengu claimed he met the woman for the first time when he picked her up where she was standing next to the road. After chatting with her while driving he asked her for sex, and after he repeated the request, she agreed, he claimed.

According to Unengu, he told her he would give her N$500 for a morning-after pill, since they did not have any contraceptives with them. She appeared to be disappointed and upset when he informed her that he did not have the promised amount of money with him after they had been intimate on the backseat of his car, he claimed.

The complainant in respect of the charges stemming from the incident in July 2011 told the court on Tuesday that Unengu was supposed to transport her from Nkurenkuru to a nearby village, where she lived, at night when he stopped the car in which they were travelling and his apparent friendliness came to a sudden end.

She said he asked her for her cellphone, and after he returned it to her she noticed that the phone’s access code had been blocked. When she asked him why he had blocked the phone, he became aggressive, assaulted her by punching her in the face, and pulled her out of the car, she testified.

She said she fell to the ground outside the car, and he then raped her on the ground.

After that, he again punched her in the face and also stuffed sand into her mouth, she said.

She managed to free herself from his grip and fled into the darkness, eventually finding help at a house in the area, she said.

The trial is continuing.

Deputy prosecutor general Dominic Lisulo is prosecuting.

Source : The Namibian