Rape-accused social worker suspended without pay

07 January 2022 | Labour

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

A 42-year-old social worker from Nkurenkuru accused of raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl has been suspended without pay.

This was confirmed by the ministry of gender equality and child welfare executive director, Esther Lusepani, who told Namibian Sun that Markus Nairenge Kaundu was suspended in December.

Lusepani said the ministry’s recommendation to the Public Service Commission to suspend Kaundu without pay during his time away from work was granted late last year.

According to Lusepani, Kaundu is serving an indefinite suspension as a court case and internal disciplinary hearing hangs over his head.

“He is suspended until the whole process is completed and the disciplinary process is ongoing,” Lusepani said.

Appeal

Lusepani said Kaundu appealed against the suspension, and is up to the Public Service Commission to look at the mitigating factors and make a pronouncement.

“He appealed the decision of not getting a salary while on suspension and we are now waiting upon the commission to decide. In the meantime, he will not receive his salary,” she said.

The allegation

Kaundu, who is employed as a social worker at Nkurenkuru, is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl who was referred to him for counselling after she was raped, fell pregnant and gave birth at just 14.

The girl is now pregnant with her second child – fathered by Kaundu.

Following police investigations, Kaundu was arrested on 19 October last year.

He was released on N$5 000 bail after his first appearance before Magistrate Barry Mufana in the Kahenge Periodic Court.

The complainant’s guardian did not object to bail being granted.

According to a preliminary police investigation, Kaundu allegedly raped the girl between November 2020 and May last year.

The case was postponed to 12 January.

According to the police, Kaundu denied the allegations.

[email protected]

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