No bail for doctor jailed on rape charge

Dennis Noa

Former trainee medical doctor Dennis Noa will not be released on bail while he appeals against his conviction on a charge of rape, on which he was sentenced to an eight-year prison term in February.

Noa’s application to be granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal against the verdict in his trial was dismissed in a ruling delivered by magistrate Victor Nyazo in the Windhoek Regional Court on Thursday.

The magistrate said in his view Noa (29) does not have reasonable prospects of success with an appeal against his conviction, and it would also not be in the interest of justice to release him on bail, given the seriousness of the charge on which he was found guilty in January
Nyazo sentenced Noa to eight years’ imprisonment in February, about four weeks after Noa had been found guilty.
Noa was accused of raping an 18-year-old patient at Katutura Intermediate Hospital, where he was an intern doctor, on 11 April 2021.

He denied guilt on the charge.

The patient was being treated in the hospital for a severe head injury that had left him disabled following a road accident.

During his trial, Noa told the court he took the patient on his bed from his ward and handed him to a hospital porter, who was supposed to take the patient to an occupational therapist. He said he later received the patient back from the porter and returned the patient on his bed to the ward.

After the patient’s return, a physiotherapist found an unused condom and tissue paper lying next to the patient on his bed, and when the patient was examined it was observed that he had an injury, swelling and a discharge on his anal area.

The court also heard that the hospital’s occupational therapy and physiotherapy department was not operating on the day in question, and that patients with head injuries received occupational and physiotherapy in their ward.

In his verdict, Nyazo concluded that Noa was the only person who had a window of opportunity to sexually violate the patient, and that the only conclusion that could be drawn from the evidence before the court was that he committed a sexual act with the patient under coercive circumstances.

Nyazo said in his ruling on Thursday that Noa is the only person who said he saw the porter to whom he handed the patient.

All the evidence pointed to Noa as the perpetrator, Nyazo said as well.

During his bail hearing three weeks ago, Noa told the court conditions in prison were “horrible”. He also described the prison as “hell”.

Harsh conditions in prison cannot result in a ‘get-out-of-jail card’, however, Nyazo commented in his bail ruling. Noa was represented by defence lawyer Sisa Namandje.

Public prosecutor Palmer Kumalo represented the state.

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