Woman charged with human trafficking to hear fate in July

10 Jun 2019 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – Judgement in the trial of a woman facing charges of human trafficking for allegedly luring a girl from northern Namibia to Okahandja for sexual exploitation, will be made public in the High Court next month.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, after having listened to submissions for judgement by State Advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura and defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht, said she will deliver the verdict in the matter on 31 July 2019.
In her submissions, Shikerete-Vendura asks the court to find accused Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas guilty as charged on the grounds that the prosecution’s witnesses have presented credible evidence showing that the accused recruited the girl from northern Namibia for sexual exploitation in Okahandja.
However, Jonas’ State-funded defence lawyer Engelbrecht is asking the court to set his client free because the victim herself and other State witnesses alleged lied before court and their evidence should be thrown out.
The 34-year-old Jonas denied involvement in the matter on 23 April 2019 when she entered not guilty pleas to the charges against her.
Jonas is facing three counts of trafficking in persons, four counts of rape and one count of attempted rape for allegedly luring the girl aged 15 at the time from Okahenge village in the Omusati Region in 2017 with promises of employment.
The girl eventually dropped out of school to go to Okahandja.
Jonas, when pleading not guilty to the charges, said when she was in the north for a month at Okahenge while visiting her family, she met the complainant there.
“But I never told her to leave school and come to stay with me at a farm in the Okahandja area. I also did not inform the complainant that I will find her a job at the farm where I was staying with my boyfriend at the time or at a salon in Okahandja as she testified before court,” she said.
The accused also dismissed the complainant’s evidence that upon her arrival at the farm, she forced the girl to move in with a certain John Puariune and have sex with him on several occasions against her will as payment for the N.dollars 200 transport fee from northern Namibia.
“I also never controlled her movements during her stay on the farm,” Jonas testified.
The girl fell pregnant as a result of the alleged sexual exploitation during her stay at the farm.
Jonas remains in police custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station with no option to post bail.
(NAMPA)
SKE/PS/AS