09 Jul 2019 17:00pm
REHOBOTH, 09 JUL (NAMPA) The case against two men arrested for the alleged rape of a 22-year-old woman in Rehoboth in February this year, was withdrawn on Tuesday after the State could not provide the case docket to the court.
Simon Simon and Taba Kavela, who appeared before Magistrate Kandinawapa Nangombe on a charge of rape were released after the court declined to postpone the matter on the request of Public Prosecutor, Victor Mutumbulwa, who appeared for the State in the matter.
The woman was allegedly raped at around 04h00 on 15 February at a house in the Block E residential area.
The incident was however only reported to the police on 22 February.
Police reports indicated that the victim and her friends were in the company of the two suspects at a local club. The three thereafter allegedly went to the house of one of the suspects, where she was reportedly overpowered by the two men and raped.
State-funded lawyer, Ernstine Jansen, who appeared for Simon and Damian Esau, who represented Kavela, argued that the State had more than enough time to look for the docket and that it is a trend the State follows to ask for postponement using missing dockets as reason and that the two accused were in custody without investigations.
In refusing the States request for a postponement, Nangombe said the way in which the State is conducting its business will no longer be condoned and that the application of the State to have the matter postponed is not proper.
Nangombe added that it appears that on more cases before court Prosecutors misplace dockets in their offices and do not make an effort to assist the police to send their dockets back for investigations.
The result in the present case is that the matter is serious, but the State does not take the matter seriously. As such, this denies the accused justice as well as the victim, Nangombe said.
The two accused, who were in custody since their arrest in February, were set free.
In another case presided over by Nangombe in the Rehoboth Magistrate's Court on Monday, a case involving an alleged drug dealer arrested on 22 February this year in Rehoboth was on Tuesday withdrawn due to the unavailability of laboratory results that were requested in February.
Christopher Leppen, 32, arrested in a police operation made his fourth appearance in front of Nangombe on two counts of possession of drugs and dealing in dependence producing substances.
His case was provisionally withdrawn to allow the State to obtain the laboratory results.
The arrest took place at the suspects residence in the Block F residential area. Police officers allegedly confiscated 31 skunk parcels and one full mandrax tablet with a total value of N.dollars 1 670, as well as two pieces of cannabis.
The investigation officer, Frans Kooper, who testified for the State said the substances were sent to the laboratory for tests, but only one laboratory caters for the whole country and there is a backlog of substances to be tested.
We inquired from the lab and the only answer we got was that it is not done yet. When the analysis is done, they usually inform us, Kooper said.
Leppen, in his cross-examination, asked Kooper why the court should grant another postponement if the efforts he made did not yield any results, and that during the previous appearance, the case docket was also missing, to which Kooper said it is with the court.
The court declined the request by the State for a further remand and the case was withdrawn with Leppen ordered to collect his bail money of N.dollars 4 000.
Leppen represented himself, while the State was represented by Mutumbulwa.