Sugar, meat for sex slave

Last week, Tuufilwa Jonas was convicted of trafficking an orphan to Okahandja for sex with two different men.

06 August 2019 | Justice

A woman who lured an 18-year-old schoolgirl from a village in the Omusati Region to Okahandja with false promises of a job and subsequently coerced her into sexual bondage with two men, has been found guilty on six charges related to trafficking in humans, and rape.

In one instance, she was paid with 10kg sugar and meat.

Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas (34) was found guilty on three counts of rape and three counts of human trafficking by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.

She was acquitted on one count of rape and one count of attempted rape.

Her conviction relates to her role, in 2012, in recruiting a vulnerable 18-year-old orphan under false pretences and forcing her into sexually exploitative relationships with two men, while also attempting to coerce her into a relationship with another man.

During Jonas' trial it emerged through the testimony of other girls, including her sister and cousin, that she had attempted similar recruitment strategies with more than one girl.

Based on the totality of evidence it was clear Jonas “approached the complainant and other young ladies and offered them to go to Okahandja to be her male friends' girlfriends,” the judge said.

She added that the evidence was “overwhelming” that the accused used the same “modus operandi to recruit her victims”.

The judge said the evidence brought during the trial by three other young women shored up the version of the complainant that Jonas was on a “mission and approached young girls either to become girlfriends of male friends who were in Okahandja, or promising them jobs.”

Shivute also stated that Jonas, who had pleaded not guilty to all charges, had offered a flimsy defence based on “bare denials”.

During judgment, Shivute noted that the “accused recruited the complainant by means of deceptions.

“She was promised a job and when she arrived in Okahandja there was no job opportunity … instead she was given to men for sexual exploitation.” Shivute said Jonas “recruited, transferred and received the complainant by means of fraud, deception, the abuse of power or position of vulnerability.”

The judgment found that Jonas' “entire purpose” of luring the then 18-year-old to Okahandja “was to facilitate her sexual exploitation”.

She added that Jonas had “tricked” the main complainant, and others, by “telling them that she would get them employment”.

The case was postponed to today for a pre-sentencing hearing. Jonas was represented by Milton Engelbrecht while State advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura acted on behalf of the State and the complainant.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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