Father not guilty on child-rape charges

Judge Duard Kesslau

A man accused of raping his daughter in northern Namibia nearly four years ago has been found not guilty after standing trial in the Oshakati High Court.

The man was acquitted by judge Duard Kesslau on Friday.

Kesslau found the evidence placed before him fell short of proving the allegations against him beyond reasonable doubt.

The state alleged the man raped his daughter at a village at Outapi on three consecutive days in June 2020.
He was 35 years old at the time, while his daughter was 11.

The man’s name was withheld by the court to protect his daughter’s identity.

Kesslau said the accused’s wife told the court she found her husband lying on top of their daughter in the couple’s bedroom on 15 June 2020.

She said her husband and their daughter were covered with a blanket, and when she pulled the blanket off them, she saw his trousers were pulled down to his knees and he was in an incriminating situation with the girl.

Kesslau commented that the mother’s reliability as a witness “is questionable as in many instances she was vague on details”. He said her observation skills may have been influenced as she was in a state of shock.

“She contradicted herself and changed her evidence from time to time,” Kesslau said. He said the girl testified that her father raped her on three consecutive mornings in her parents’ bedroom while her mother was brewing tea in their kitchen.

While no fresh injuries were observed on the girl’s private parts, a doctor told the court injuries would have been highly likely if she had been raped on three consecutive days.

The accused denied that he committed sexual acts with the girl or had made admissions about that.

The accused was not an impressive witness, and there were differences between his version that was put to state witnesses and his later testimony, Kesslau observed.

He said the complainant’s testimony about the first two alleged incidents varied in respect of when and where it happened, while she contradicted herself and changed her version of events in her testimony.

She also chose not to answer some questions when she testified, he noted.

As a result of that, Kesslau said, her evidence had to be approached with caution.

He could not find that the complainant’s evidence was satisfactory and reliable enough to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt, Kesslau concluded.

State advocate Victoria Shigwedha represented the prosecution.

The accused was represented by legal aid lawyer S Makale.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News