Child-rape and murder suspect is fit for trial

Child-rape and murder suspect is fit for trial

SWAKOPMUND child-murder and rape suspect Willem Louw is sane and fit to stand trial, the High Court in Windhoek has been informed.

A State psychiatrist who has kept Louw (32) under psychiatric observation to check if he is fit to be tried and if he is suffering from any mental illness has judged him to be able to stand trial, Judge Sylvester Mainga was informed on Thursday last week during Louw’s latest pre-trial appearance in the High Court. His trial has now been scheduled to start in the High Court on July 5.The State has so far listed 29 people as possible witnesses for the prosecution at the trial, which is scheduled to run to July 19.Louw is accused of having abducted, raped and murdered a six-year-old girl, Rachel Hamutundu, at Swakopmund on January 31 last year.The child disappeared from her home at the Tamariskia Municipal Flats, where she lived with her father, on that day.Her body was found at the Swakopmund sewerage works on the afternoon of the next day.Louw stayed at the same flats and was working as a security guard at the time.He was arrested on February 2 last year.During an appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court twelve days after his arrest, he made a detailed confession to the court, telling the Magistrate that he had raped the child and then killed her by smashing her head against a concrete pillar – because he did not want her to be able to identify him as the person who had raped her.”I know I did wrong,” he told the court, and added: “I had the need to have sex.”Louw is facing counts of murder, rape and abduction, alternatively kidnapping, in connection with Hamutundu’s last few hours alive.He is also set to face a second charge of rape, alternatively committing or attempting to commit a sexual or an indecent or immoral act with a child under the age of sixteen, at his trial.In that charge, it is alleged that Louw sexually molested a three-year-old girl at the Tamariskia Municipal Flats early during the afternoon of February 1 last year.According to the State psychiatrist’s report on his mental condition he has been found fit to stand trial, capable of adequately following court proceedings and postulating a defence, and capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his alleged actions and acting accordingly, Judge Mainga was told on Friday.Louw’s defence lawyer, Louis Karsten, told the court that the defence is not disputing the findings in the psychiatric report.The defence originally asked in September last year that Louw be referred for psychiatric observation.Louw remains in Police custody.His trial has now been scheduled to start in the High Court on July 5.The State has so far listed 29 people as possible witnesses for the prosecution at the trial, which is scheduled to run to July 19.Louw is accused of having abducted, raped and murdered a six-year-old girl, Rachel Hamutundu, at Swakopmund on January 31 last year.The child disappeared from her home at the Tamariskia Municipal Flats, where she lived with her father, on that day.Her body was found at the Swakopmund sewerage works on the afternoon of the next day.Louw stayed at the same flats and was working as a security guard at the time.He was arrested on February 2 last year.During an appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court twelve days after his arrest, he made a detailed confession to the court, telling the Magistrate that he had raped the child and then killed her by smashing her head against a concrete pillar – because he did not want her to be able to identify him as the person who had raped her.”I know I did wrong,” he told the court, and added: “I had the need to have sex.”Louw is facing counts of murder, rape and abduction, alternatively kidnapping, in connection with Hamutundu’s last few hours alive.He is also set to face a second charge of rape, alternatively committing or attempting to commit a sexual or an indecent or immoral act with a child under the age of sixteen, at his trial.In that charge, it is alleged that Louw sexually molested a three-year-old girl at the Tamariskia Municipal Flats early during the afternoon of February 1 last year.According to the State psychiatrist’s report on his mental condition he has been found fit to stand trial, capable of adequately following court proceedings and postulating a defence, and capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his alleged actions and acting accordingly, Judge Mainga was told on Friday.Louw’s defence lawyer, Louis Karsten, told the court that the defence is not disputing the findings in the psychiatric report.The defence originally asked in September last year that Louw be referred for psychiatric observation.Louw remains in Police custody.

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