Child testifies on gang-rape

Child testifies on gang-rape

AN 11-year-old girl last week recounted in the High Court at Keetmanshoop how two men – including a teenager who is related to her – had gang-raped her, stabbed her and forced her to drink alcohol before the sexual attack.

The girl sustained seven stab wounds – four in the right arm, two in the chest and one in the leg – in the attack at a village in the Karas Region on February 5 2006. The child, who is now in Grade 4, was 10 at the time of the alleged rape.The two suspects accused of raping her were 17 and 25 years old at the time of the incident.They both pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial before Judge Kato van Niekerk in the High Court at Keetmanshoop.The two suspects are each charged with two counts of rape and charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, alternatively abduction, and drugging a female for unlawful carnal intercourse.The girl testified last week that one of the two men threatened to stab her with a knife if she refused to consume the alcohol.He held a bottle of wine to her mouth, she said.According to the girl, the older accused ordered the younger one to stab her when they had finished raping her.She was left naked in an open field after the attack.”I felt too much pain,” responded the girl when asked by Judge Van Niekerk to describe how she felt after she was raped.The girl testified she was kidnapped – by the younger accused, who is related to her – from her bed while she was sleeping in a room with her grandmother and her younger brother.”I woke up at the front door’s step in the hands of the younger accused and the older accused gagged my mouth to prevent me from screaming,” the girl said.When defence counsel Clive Kavendjii put to the girl that according to his clients’ instructions they denied what she had testified in court about being raped by them, she repeatedly maintained that the incident happened and that the accused persons were not telling the truth.The younger of the two accused was the only one to testify in his defence after the prosecution closed its case last week.He told the judge on Friday that he had initially pleaded guilty during an earlier Magistrate’s Court appearance because Police officers had threatened him and forced him to do so.The suspect became irate when State advocate Ed Marondedze challenged him on his testimony under cross-examination.”Sentence me now if you don’t believe what I’m telling you,” he reacted at one stage while being cross-questioned.At the start of the trial Judge Van Niekerk ordered that no information that could reveal the identity of the girl may be published, including the names of the accused.The child, who is now in Grade 4, was 10 at the time of the alleged rape.The two suspects accused of raping her were 17 and 25 years old at the time of the incident.They both pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial before Judge Kato van Niekerk in the High Court at Keetmanshoop.The two suspects are each charged with two counts of rape and charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, alternatively abduction, and drugging a female for unlawful carnal intercourse.The girl testified last week that one of the two men threatened to stab her with a knife if she refused to consume the alcohol.He held a bottle of wine to her mouth, she said.According to the girl, the older accused ordered the younger one to stab her when they had finished raping her.She was left naked in an open field after the attack.”I felt too much pain,” responded the girl when asked by Judge Van Niekerk to describe how she felt after she was raped.The girl testified she was kidnapped – by the younger accused, who is related to her – from her bed while she was sleeping in a room with her grandmother and her younger brother.”I woke up at the front door’s step in the hands of the younger accused and the older accused gagged my mouth to prevent me from screaming,” the girl said.When defence counsel Clive Kavendjii put to the girl that according to his clients’ instructions they denied what she had testified in court about being raped by them, she repeatedly maintained that the incident happened and that the accused persons were not telling the truth.The younger of the two accused was the only one to testify in his defence after the prosecution closed its case last week.He told the judge on Friday that he had initially pleaded guilty during an earlier Magistrate’s Court appearance because Police officers had threatened him and forced him to do so.The suspect became irate when State advocate Ed Marondedze challenged him on his testimony under cross-examination.”Sentence me now if you don’t believe what I’m telling you,” he reacted at one stage while being cross-questioned.At the start of the trial Judge Van Niekerk ordered that no information that could reveal the identity of the girl may be published, including the names of the accused.

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