Van Wyk asks for child rape conviction

06 August 2019 | Justice

Jeremiah van Wyk, 50, yesterday pleaded guilty to one charge of rape, one of abduction and an alternative charge of kidnapping in the Katutura Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Atutala Shikalepo.

The charges relate to the kidnapping and rape of a five-year-old girl on Thursday.

Yesterday afternoon, Van Wyk told the magistrate that he was “guilty on all charges” and refused legal representation, telling the court that “he does not want to waste the court's time”.

Van Wyk told the court that he “was a drunk and I was drugged” and testified to some of the details of the sexual assault, admitting that he “knew it was wrong”.

He told the court that although he tried to use his penis, he was unable to “because I lost my erection”. Instead, he used a finger. He said he realised then that what he was doing was wrong “so I walked away”.

He said “I knew I would be punished.”

He insisted yesterday that he does not dispute any of the charges against him, and told the magistrate that if he was convicted and sentenced he would no longer be able to abuse drugs, which had caused his actions.

“If I had not used alcohol and drugs I would not have done it,' Van Wyk told Magistrate Shikalepo.

He said he does not dispute that the victim is five.

“I did not know her exact age; I just knew she was underage.”

Victoria Likius appeared for the State.

Namibian police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi on Friday told Namibian Sun that Van Wyk was arrested on Thursday afternoon soon after the girl had been found and returned to her worried family.

She said Van Wyk had a previous conviction of murder and rape.

Van Wyk is not related to the child.

The girl's family contacted the police and appealed for help on social media after they discovered she had been picked up by an unknown man from the Blink Ogies pre-primary school in Khomasdal at lunchtime on Thursday.

She was found several hours later, after several search teams had been dispatched.

Child rape in Namibia has been described as an alarming crime that continues to plague Namibian children.

Namibian Sun reported that in July three girls, aged 10, 13 and 16, were among the victims of five rapes reported to the Namibian police over just four days. At the end of July, the Namibian police said they were tracing a man accused of raping his eight-year-old niece multiple times between January and July this year.

A spokesperson for the Lifeline/Childline Namibia counselling centre in 2017 told Namibian Sun “the number of cases being reported is rising and is definitely not normal. It is rather alarming.”

The matter was postponed to 19 November for further police investigations. Van Wyk remains in custody.

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