WINDHOEK – Police in Oshana Region have arrested the son of a prominent politician implicated in the rape of his cousin.
The suspect is Sindano Hango, 32, who is involved in the construction industry.
Hango reportedly tried to bribe his alleged victim with a payment of N$10 000 by using a corrupt police officer to do his bidding, but he surrendered himself at the police station yesterday.
Hango handed himself over to the police accompanied by a lawyer.
Oshana Police Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa confirmed to New Era yesterday that the suspect was in custody.
He appeared before Magistrate Mikka Namweya, while Petrina Hango prosecuted.
The suspect is expected to return to court tomorrow to launch a formal bail hearing.
Kashihakumwa said due to the seriousness of the case, he does not think the court would grant Hango bail as the complainant has also raised concerns that if he were to get bail, he could endanger her life.
The arrest came as a relief to the victim, who complained that although she opened a case on October 10, the police were reluctant to arrest the suspect due to his status in society as a wealthy businessman.
The victim also accused the family of Hango of trying to bribe her with money, while a police officer at Oshakati apparently also tried to talk her into withdrawing the charges, which she refused.
The incident sparked a wave of condemnation from civil society, among them women’s organisations who criticised the conduct of the police and the actions of the suspect’s mother who allegedly tried to persuade the victim not to make a case against her son.
Women’s Action for Development (WAD) executive director Salatiel Shinedima said he was shocked there were relatives trying to cover up such horrendous crimes.
Shinedima said even if the suspect was the sole breadwinner in his family, it did not make the case any less serious and he should own up to it.
“It’s a good thing he apologised, but rape is very serious and men should not think they can do whatever they want because of their economic status,” he said.
Women’s Solidarity Executive Director, Rosa Namises, was equally outraged about the alleged rape and said it was clear how police usually respond when community members with high status are involved, adding that it showed clearly that police are not serious to protect and fight crimes of a gender-based violence (GBV) nature, such as rape and domestic violence.
The Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, has instructed police officers countrywide to treat victims of GBV with urgency, sensitivity and dignity.