Councillor defends bailing out alleged rapist Iri Ivari
17 February 2021 | Crime
Guinas regional councillor Elias Kainda Marthinu said he had to bail out Lucas Tsamseb, also known as Iri Ivari, because his parents begged that he be released to return to school.
That Marthinu’s two nephews - implicated in an alleged gang rape with Tsamseb - had been bailed out by their parents did not reflect well on the fact that the latter remained incarcerated because of his poverty.
Marthinu paid N$2 000 bail for Tsamseb this week, about five weeks after he and two others were arrested for allegedly gang-raping an 18-year-old woman in early January.
After the accused were granted bail, only the other two, who are the councillor’s nephews, were bailed out by their families.
“The other two boys, one is my sister’s child and the other is my brother’s child,” he confirmed, saying it created an impression that Tsamseb was left to rot in jail while his nephews were released.
Tsamseb, who is aged between 18 and 21 according to previous dental examinations, remained behind bars because his family could not afford his bail amount.
On Monday, Marthinu posted bail for Tsamseb, who resumed classes yesterday at Ondera Primary School in the Oshikoto Region.
He was enrolled at the school last year by the gender ministry, but efforts to have him rehabilitated have been unsuccessful.
Not supporting rape
Tsamseb, Moses Marthinu and two others, who cannot be named because they are underage, stand accused of gang rape, which occurred at Oshivelo Damara Location area on New Year’s Day.
The minors in the case have been released into the care of their parents, as per the Child Justice Bill for 2018, and should report themselves on court dates.
In a telephonic interview with Namibian Sun yesterday, Marthinu said another reason which influenced his decision to bail out Tsamseb is that the community begging him to help secure the release of the accused are the same people who voted him into power.
“It looks like I am supporting the rape act but that is not the case. I simply paid the bail which was granted to him by the judiciary system. He is of school-going age and he still needs to go for trial. The parents could not afford and they asked me if I could assist,” he said.
Checking up on victim
When asked whether he has met the rape victim, Marthinu said yes.
“I had to do routine check-ups on the victim to make sure that she is fine and I had to explain to her that what happened to her is not her fault so that she does not go through life blaming herself and become a victim in the community in which she lives. I also informed her that she can come to my office any time for assistance.
“I am not a professional so the gender ministry has continued with the counselling sessions with the victim,” the councillor said.
Marthinu admitted that there are risks involved in bailing out Tsamseb.
He pointed out that Namibians should not forget that ‘Iri Ivari’ has now become some sort of ‘role model’ to young people, and making sure he is rehabilitated is a collective effort as those who look up to him might model his way of life.
“When I picked him up from the cells yesterday, I had a talk with him about what he did and the seriousness of the crime. I also told him that he can change his life if he changes his lifestyle and avoids abusing alcohol. My hope is that he listened,” Marthinu said.
Namibian police chief spokesperson, deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, previously said Nampol had to open a case on behalf of the victim, who refused to do so herself.
The case has been postponed to 16 March.
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