Woman admits rape claim was false
A COMPLAINANT in a rape case in which a Windhoek resident has spent nearly two months in police custody admitted on Friday that she laid a false charge against an innocent man.
The reason why she lied to the police by claiming that she had been raped was because she had been threatened by her boyfriend, the complainant in the case against the 32-year-old Andries Hochobeb said in a written statement she made to a police officer on Friday.
The woman (28), told the officer she felt her life was in danger because of the threat made by her boyfriend and that she then made the allegation against Hochobeb to save herself. She also said in the statement that she wanted Hochobeb to be granted bail, or the charge against him to be withdrawn. She previously alleged that Hochobeb raped her in Windhoek on 19 July.
Her claim against Hochobeb had a far-reaching effect on the accused man, and could now also put the complainant at risk of being charged with perjury.
After being arrested and charged with rape, Hochobeb made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura on 22 July.
On that occasion he was told that he would have to remain in custody while the police continued to investigate his case.
With Hochobeb's second court appearance on Tuesday last week, a magistrate ordered that he would continue to be kept in custody, pending the start of a bail hearing on 7 October.
On Friday, though, after the complainant had recanted her claim against Hochobeb in the statement that she made before a police officer, he was taken back to court to be granted bail of N$200.
Hochobeb has in the meantime lost his employment as a result of the time he has spent locked up, his defence lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, said after he was granted bail.
Public prosecutor Anthony Wilson informed Magistrate George Mbundu of the about-turn complainant's and handed her statement to the magistrate before saying that Hochobeb could be granted bail of N$200.
Hochobeb's case was postponed to 7 October for the taking of a plea on the charge he is still facing.
Magistrate Mbundu also ordered that Hochobeb may in the meantime not make any contact with the complainant while he is out of custody on bail.
By Werner Menges The Namibian