26 Jun 2016 10:30am
KATIMA MULILO, 26 JUN (NAMPA) A 22-year-old man has been slapped with a jail term of 15 years for raping his niece in 2011.
On Thursday, the Katima Mulilo regional court sentenced Phill Ntanda Masangu for raping his seven-year-old niece on 23 November 2011 at the Chotto formalised settlement in Katima Mulilo.
Masangu from Lusese village was caught out by his sister, who is the victims mother.
In his sentencing, magistrate Bongani Ndlovu said although Masangu is a first-time offender, who also showed remorse for the crime he committed, rape is still a serious offence.
Ndlovu said the State is compelled to sentence rapists to send a message to would-be offenders, adding that what Masangu did was heinous and barbaric.
He says he is feeling bad about having committed the offence and promises to not repeat it. However, the victim was a minor aged seven. The offence is aggravated by the fact that it was committed against a family member.
If children are not safe from relatives, regardless of the distance of the relationship, who will they be safe with? Ndlovu questioned.
The magistrate added that Masangu, who was visiting his sister when the rape was committed, had abused the hospitality extended to him on the night he sexually violated the minor.
According to court records, on the night of the incident, Masangu snuck out of his bedroom into his sisters sleeping quarters, where the minor was fast asleep.
The girls mother was away, escorting a friend who had earlier been visiting the family.
Upon her return home, she found the door locked from inside. She knocked several times, after which Masangu came to open the door.
The victims mother demanded to know what Masangu was doing in her room as he was naked and had covered his private parts with the victims school uniform shirt. He claimed he was resting on the sofa, despite having his own room.
I demanded to know what he was doing. It was dark but he appeared scared. I proceeded to where my daughter was sleeping and found her fast asleep but also naked, reads the victim's mother's statement.
The statement further reads that while the mother was inspecting her daughter, she found that there was semen between the girls legs. She called on neighbours to assist in establishing what had happened, and they too suspected that the minor was raped while she was asleep.
The matter was reported to the Namibian Police the next day and Masangu was arrested.
Although the complainant was fast asleep and does not know what happened to her, and although she did not suffer serious physical injuries, rape is a serious offence, Ndlovu said.
Masangu was represented by legal aid appointed lawyer, Hope Ngara, while Jatiel Mudamburi prosecuted for the State.