Four men discharged on rape charges

22 Aug 2016 14:00pm
KATIMA MULILO, 22 AUG (NAMPA) – The Katima Mulilo Regional Court has discharged men on rape charges they were facing.
The four men were accused of gang raping an American Peace Corp volunteer during the early hours of 18 January 2014 at New-look residential area in Katima Mulilo.
Nicollans Silimwe Mapenzi, 25; Heinrich Kasuka Numwa, 24;David Mbanga Mukela, 24; and Nsundano Abraham Nseka, 24, faced four charges of rape on accusations of sexually violating the victim after allegedly grabbing her by the arms, constricting her throat, hitting her with a bottle and pulling her into the bushes.
The victim was allegedly in the company of a male friend, who was attacked before running off.
On Friday, Magistrate Bongani Ndlovu discharged the men after finding that no evidence linked them to the rape of the American national.
The victim, according to Ndlovu, could also not positively identify her alleged assailants and link them to those who had raped her that night.
Ndlovu also attacked the lack of sufficient evidence in the case, saying the discharge is solely blamed on flawed investigations by the Namibian Police investigator, Cosmos Muketoi, whose credibility is questionable because of changing testimonies in his evidence in chief on behalf of the State.
“He (Muketoi) kept on changing testimonies. Most importantly, one is left wondering how he did his work on this case or how officers in office of the crime investigation unit department at Katima Mulilo, generally do their work.
“Wisdom of apportioning inexperienced constables to such a case is not right. As an individual officer, one fails to understand his logic. His evidence is hopeless and does not take the State’s case any further,” said Ndlovu.
During the hearing, it was established that Muketoi and his fellow investigators did not do proper investigations on the case.
The only evidence picked up at the scene, was a cap, which the investigators tried leading with.
Preliminary investigations linked the cap to Mukela, accused no.3, who denied it. Instead, he said, the cap belonged to Mapenzi.
However, Mapenzi denied owning the cap, saying that his was at home, after which it was established as such.
Numwa was arrested because police were trying to establish if it is true that he was in the company of Mukela on the night of the alleged incident.
Nseka was apprehended by police as he was found sleeping in a bedroom belonging to a certain Mayumbelo.
Mayumbelo, initially one of the suspects taken in for questioning, later turned State witness.
Mayumbelo’s evidence was also flawed, with him denying providing a police statement and later claiming that he been paid money by one of the investigators to testify and link the four accused to the crime.
The men were represented by legal aid appointed lawyers Leon Kabajani and Hope Ngara, while the Jatiel Mudamburi represented the State.
(NAMPA)
FS/CT/LI