Alleged gang rapists get trial date

Three men from Otjurukune Reserve in the district of Gobabis are set to plead to nine counts of rape, one count of assault to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of common assault when their trial start on June 18 next year before Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.

The court, the state and the defence have agreed that the trial of Jan Gemeng, Tjaava Ebson and Godlieb Rapanka Katuuo is to set down for hearing from June 18 to 26 next year.

They will however have to return to court on March 29 next year for another pre-trial hearing.

Gemeng will be represented by Mese Tjituri, Ebson by Mbanga Siyomunji and Katuuo by Hipura Ujaha, all on the ticket of legal aid.

Siyomunji stood in for his two co-defence counsels in court yesterday after they met with the judge in chambers, but since Ujaha did not attend the meeting in chambers, Judge Shivute ordered that he must give an explanation to the court on the next court date why he did not bother to inform the clerk why he did not show up.

The three accused are all charged with taking turns to rape a young woman at Otjurukune Reserve on June 17, 2014, while the others held her down.

According to the charge sheet, the complainant, who may not be named, was at a bar (Marina's Place) at the reserve with her boyfriend and two other friends drinking alcohol and the accused were also present at the same place.

The complainant later left the drinking place and walked home alone and whilst on her way the three accused attacked and assaulted her.

Her boyfriend who heard her screams then tried to come to her rescue and take her home, but Ebson and Katuuo turned on him and assaulted him and managed to chase him away, leaving the complainant at the mercy of the accused persons, the indictment reads.

It is further alleged that the three accused then continued to assault the complainant until she was too weak to offer any resistance and then proceeded to have unlawful intercourse with her.

When Gemeng finished, Ebson and Katuuo also took their turns to rape the complainant, according to the indictment.

The indictment further states that after the three accused finished with their dastardly deed, they pulled the complainant into some bushes and left her there.

All three are on bail and their bail was extended.

Seredine Jacobs acted on behalf of the prosecutor-general in the proceedings.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia