Pastor accused of raping daughter for 13 years

17 June 2019 | Justice

Following a marathon court session, a 55-year-old Okahandja pastor who is accused of raping his own daughter over a period of 13 years, has been re-released on bail.

The enquiry into the revocation of his N$5 000 bail following his re-arrest last Tuesday started at 14:30 on Friday in the Okahandja Magistrate's Court. The court finally adjourned at 19:30.

The pastor, who leads a church in Vyfrandkamp, is accused of raping his daughter from the time she was 14.

He has, thus far, been charged with five counts of rape and one of incest. She in turn, has been charged with concealment of birth, after allegedly aborting a baby fathered by her father.

She was arrested on 3 June and was released on a warning. Her matter postponed to 28 June. The pastor was arrested on 2 May and was granted bail on 20 May after formally applying to be released. He was re-arrested last Tuesday.

According to the public prosecutor Veruka Njembo, the pastor had contravened one of his bail conditions - that of contacting his daughter. Njembo told Magistrate Khaepriums Swartz that he had called her and taken her to a local grocery store. The suspect had allegedly purchased food for her and “begged her to withdraw the charges”.

It was the Okahandja Residents Committee that brought this to the attention of the authorities. The group was present in the gallery packed and also handed a petition with 161 signatures, which opposes the release of the pastor, to the magistrate. Appearing on behalf of the pastor, Ileni Gebhardt told the court the matter had no “foundation in law”, adding that the State “brings the application (for the revocation of bail) with dirty hands”.

What followed can only be described as chaos, with erroneous court records and missing documents being the order of the day.

Gebhardt raised four points in limine, digging into the court record of the hearing last Tuesday when the pastor was re-arrested. That day the matter was heard before Magistrate Leonard Mateus with prosecutor Oscar Simvula acting for the State. According to the record, the court endorsed and granted the warrant of arrest in terms of section 66 (1)(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) of 1977.

“The warrant of arrest was issued in terms of a section that does not exist. It is flawed. The court had no authority to issue a warrant in terms of a section that does not exist,” Gebhardt said.

Alternatively, she said, should the court grant that the record contains typographical errors, the State had one of two options.

If the accused is not present, in terms of the CPA, the arrest warrant can be issued. If the accused however, is present, the State should have brought an application to lead evidence as to why bail must be revoked and the arrest warrant endorsed, the defence attorney argued.

This, Gebhardt held, was not done. She also alleged that her client was arrested before the warrant was endorsed, according to the time on court record.





Njembo responded that the current hearing was precisely to lead evidence as to why bail should be revoked. He said the allegations of breach of bail conditions were brought to his attention on 7 June. “The application to lead evidence into why the bail must be revoked was made on 10 June at 09:30”, when the arrest warrant was endorsed by Mateus, he said.

Moreover, he read from the court record, as far back as 20 May, showing that it was fraught with errors.

“I will not hammer on the wording per se, where it is clear what was intended.”

He continued by saying that the pastor was arrested when he reported to the police station at roughly 08:00, as per his bail conditions, and said he would not comment on the matter as the warrant was to be executed “on sight”.

“The violation is very serious as it goes to the root of perverting the ends of justice.”

Gebhardt jumped up and objected.

“It is dangerous to speak for what the court intended. The prosecution cannot speak for Magistrate Mateus. It is opportunistic and misleads the court.”





Magistrate Swartz, who was visibly agitated, asked counsel to show him the arrest warrant. Njembo insisted it was included in the court record, which was with Swartz. The magistrate challenged him to find it, handing him the record.

The court had to adjourn to find the warrant of arrest as Swartz indicated he could make no ruling without seeing the document.

The court buildings became a hive of activity, and after about 15 minutes, the document was finally found, attached to the court record of an entirely different matter.

Swartz returned to the bench, and put the arrest warrant on record.

The time on the warrant indicated that the pastor was arrested at 10:15 and Gebhardt put it on record that her client does not agree with that time.

Swartz then made his ruling saying that he could not entertain the points in limine raised by the defence.

“I cannot review or set aside decisions made by another magistrate.”

He said that should he uphold the points in limine he would be acting as a review court which he could not do. Only the High Court can review decisions made by a magistrate's court or Magistrate Mateus should review his own ruling. The matter, he said, should be heard by Mateus and the points raised before him.

This ruling effectively declared Friday afternoon's proceedings null and void and put the legal teams back to square one.

“On the basis of which law should I remand the accused in custody?” Swartz asked.

Njembo asked for an adjournment to prepare arguments in this regard, which the magistrate granted, and while counsel wanted to consult him in chambers, he refused.

The court finally adjourned for the day at 19:30, with the bail of the pastor extended. He was released. The matter will be heard again on 21 June by Magistrate Mateus.

YANNA SMITH

Similar News

 

Man in court for registering 'fake' accident

1 day - 22 January 2020 | Justice

A 58-year-old man arrested at Aranos last Friday for allegedly providing false information relating to an accident made his first appearance in the Aranos Magistrate's...

Nation awaits EVM judgement with bated breath

3 days ago - 20 January 2020 | Justice

Namibians must wait until February 6 to hear whether the Supreme Court will uphold the outcome of the November 27 general election or order a...

Evidence stuck in grieving mother's thigh

3 days ago - 20 January 2020 | Justice

A N$3 million wrongful death lawsuit against the police stemming from the killing of a child who was struck by a stray bullet on Valentine's...

Who's who in EVM Supreme Court battle

6 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Justice

The bench Chief Justice Peter Shivute Justice Sylvester Mainga Justice Dave Smuts Justice Elton Hoff Justice Baaitse Nkabinde ...

Katrina turns to Supreme Court

6 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Justice

Former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa is turning to the Supreme Court to challenge her criminal conviction.The former Hardap governor, who was found guilty of corruption...

Shanghala employeeon abandons bail bid

6 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Justice

Nigel Van Wyk, who faces charges related to the Fishrot corruption case, had to abandon a bail application scheduled for 10 January because he could...

‘Daddy touched my cookie’

1 week ago - 16 January 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES The stepsister of an eight-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her 69-year-old father has revealed that the family had...

Details emerge in councillor's assault case

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2020 | Justice

A Christmas get-together at Arevesheneka village in Kavango East led to the arrest of Ndiyona Constituency Councillor Eugen Likuwa and his wife Clementine Mpande, after...

Councillor denied bail in assault case

3 weeks ago - 31 December 2019 | Justice

The Swapo councillor for Ndiyona Constituency, Eugen Likuwa, (49), who was arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill his wife on Christmas Day, was...

Fishrot 6 stay in jail

3 weeks ago - 30 December 2019 | Justice

The so-called Fishrot Six will remain in prison until at least February 2020, after Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller dismissed their urgent application to...

Latest News

Fishrot bribery ring widens

16 hours ago | Crime

While the main accused in the Fishrot bribery scandal await a hearing date in the Supreme Court to challenge their incarceration, another hanger-on, who allegedly...

Learners sent home over broken...

16 hours ago | Education

The over 1 200 learners at Max Makushe Senior Secondary School in the Kavango East Region have been sent home until further notice because of...

Rich man, poor man

16 hours ago | Opinion

For African citizens, the debates and discussions by the elite in Davos seem like a world away.The World Economic Forum (WEF) hosts an annual meeting...

12.5m in SADC face hunger

16 hours ago | Disasters

The number of food insecure people in southern Africa is projected to peak at 12.5 million through March 2020, an increase of 15% compared to...

Parents fume over costly new...

16 hours ago | Education

Parents say the introduction of good-looking school uniforms does not guarantee an improvement in academic performance, behaviour or attendance.Last week, Namibian Sun caught up with...

A beacon of hope

16 hours ago | Education

The Tsintsabis Combined School's feeding programme has received resounding support from stakeholders since its implementation in 2004, acting principal Christalina Narubes said.During an interview at...

'Pay up Samherji'

16 hours ago | Short News

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani says Icelandic fishing company Samherji should take responsibility for the thousands of Namibian fishermen who lost their jobs...

Former cop appears for internet...

16 hours ago | Crime

The Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court has denied bail to a 30-year-old former policeman who made his first appearance on charges of internet fraud on Tuesday.Ricardo...

Grand Prix series begins

16 hours ago | Sports

The first Athletics Namibia series event of the year is set to take place this Saturday at the Grootfontein Independence Stadium. The 2020 Grand...

Load More