DNA link in Lüderitz rape caseBy: WERNER MENGES
THE results of DNA tests which were done at a Canadian laboratory late last year are not looking good for rape suspect Ralph Vukile Mtshibe.
According to the results of DNA analysis carried out at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) last year, DNA extracted from evidence found in the private parts of an alleged rape victim at Lüderitz near the end of 2005 matched the DNA profile of Mtshibe.
This is indicated by testimony heard in Mtshibe’s trial before Judge Naomi Shivute in the High Court in Windhoek this week.
Mtshibe is on trial on three counts of rape, two charges of kidnapping, and a count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Mtshibe pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, except the assault count, on which he admitted guilt at the start of his trial.
The prosecution is alleging that he kidnapped an 18-year-old woman at Lüderitz on December 13 2003, and then raped her at a graveyard at the town.
The same woman was involved in the assault, committed ten days later, which Mtshibe has admitted.
He was free on bail when the other alleged crimes he is accused of were committed two years later.
The State is alleging that Mtshibe kidnapped a 19-year-old woman at Lüderitz on December 17 2005, when he allegedly forced her to accompany him to a spot outside the town, where he raped her. He allegedly held her captive as he forced her to go with him to his room, where he again raped her, it is charged.
The DNA test results are connected to the incident which allegedly took place in December 2005.
DNA analyst Steen Hartsen, who testified before Judge Shivute on Tuesday, told the court that he analysed samples which had been sent from Namibia to the BCIT forensic laboratory in January last year.
Hartsen said he extracted a male DNA profile from a sample apparently obtained from a female person’s private parts.
In November last year, he received more samples which had been sent from Namibia to be analysed.
One of these was a blood sample referred to as a “known sample”, meaning that the identity of the person from whom the sample had been obtained was known.
According to evidence before the court, that person was Mtshibe.
Hartsen said he obtained a full DNA profile from that known sample, and found that it matched the DNA profile which he had earlier obtained from a vaginal swab that had been sent from Namibia.
The probability that another person would have the same DNA profile as the matching profile was calculated at about one in 450 billion, Hartsen said.
A forensic analyst who had been attached to the National Forensic Science Institute of Namibia, Maryn Swart, testified yesterday that tests done by her before the samples were sent to Canada for further analysis confirmed the presence of semen on the vaginal swab which was later sent to BCIT.
State advocate Innocentia Nyoni closed the State’s case after Swart’s testimony yesterday.
Mtshibe, who is represented by defence lawyer Tabitha Mbome, is expected to indicate to the court today whether he will be testifying in his own defence.