28 Jun 2013 04:40
OSHAKATI, 28 JUN (NAMPA) - The High Court at Oshakati on Thursday postponed the mitigation hearing of an Angolan traditional healer, who is facing 13 counts of rape charges since November 2011.
The mitigation hearing was postponed to Tuesday next week (02 July 2013).
Accused Bonifatius Mbwale was found guilty on seven of the 13 counts of rape in the same court on Wednesday.
He was arrested towards the end of 2011, after some of his patients/customers pressed rape charges against him, saying the traditional healer had raped them separately after performing ?sex healing rituals? on them at his clinics at Omutakuwakaupa village in the Omusati Region and also at Onhuno village in the Ohangwena Region.
Some of his patients, who turned State witnesses, testified in the court that Mbwale?s healing procedure included the insertion of herb mixtures into his patients? private parts with the use of his fingers.
These State witnesses also told the court that Mbwale had, in some instances, conned them into allowing him to apparently insert the herbs deeper into the patients? private parts by using his private male organ.
Mbwale has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, Judge Christie Liebenberg in his judgment on Wednesday put it to him that the court is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that he committed the unlawful sexual acts with the complainants under coercive circumstances.
Most of the complainants and/or victims of Mbwale?s so-called sexual healing process are young girls who went to him between 2009 and 2011, seeking traditional medicine for different sexual ailments.
Mbwale, 64, has remained in Police custody since his arrest in 2011, and the court is yet to set a date for his sentencing.
The State is represented by State Advocate Dominic Lisulo of the Prosecutor-General?s Office at Oshakati, while Mbwale is represented by local lawyer Pieter Greyling under instruction from Jan Greyling & Associates.