Prisons deny offender got pregnant in their care

July 13, 2015, 8:43am

Prisons deny offender got pregnant in their care

The Namibian Correctional Services have dismissed reports that a woman, recently convicted of selling children into prostitution at Swakopmund, fell pregnant while in their care.

The prison authorities were responding to a question by DTA member of parliament, Elma Dienda, who wanted to know how Johanna Lukas got pregnant while locked up for child trafficking.

Dienda put the question to Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh last month, following successive reports in New Era about how Lukas fell pregnant.

It has since been conclusively established that Lukas fell pregnant while in police custody at Walvis Bay and not after she was taken to the Walvis Bay prison cells, Namibian Correctional Service Commissioner Davy Kambinda explained.

Kambinda explained that there is a huge difference between police custody and prison, saying the two are manned by the Namibian Police and Namibian Correctional Services respectively.

How Lukas fell pregnant in police custody in 2013 remains a mystery, with the matter enjoying widespread public interest and a lively debate in the National Assembly last month.

Kambinda explained that after Lukas gave birth on 14 August 2013, the Namibian Correctional Services were asked to take her in, because the holding cells at Walvis Bay do not have facilities for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

“She arrived in prison on 15 August, exactly a day after she gave birth. We provided a conducive room for her and her baby,” the Commissioner said.

“That was the first time she came in contact with the Namibian Correctional Services, meaning therefore that she did not fall pregnant under our care as is widely reported. She came here having a baby already.

“A day after she arrived here, on 16 August, we informed the head office in Windhoek about her arrival.” Kambinda says the Namibian Correctional Services are striving to be the best in Africa, and claims of inmates falling pregnant its care could damage the institution’s reputation.

“Prison is doing good things but such things are never highlighted. We are striving to be the best in Africa,” he concluded.

Lukas has said that she will not reveal the name of the father, as she fears for her life. She was found guilty on five counts of rape after it was proven beyond reasonable doubt before the High Court that she had procured two underaged girls to be sexually exploited by suspected paedophile, Marthinus Pretorius, a South African, at Vineta in Swakopmund between April and June 2012.

Judge President Petrus Damaseb also found Lukas guilty on five charges of trafficking children for exploitation.

New Era