Witness bungles serial rape case

A witness called to testify in the serial rape and murder trial of Piet Nakanene told the court he thought he was testifying in another, unrelated matter.

17 April 2018 | Justice

FRED GOEIEMAN



A defence witness in the trial of a 33-year-old man facing a murder charge and a number of rape and attempted rape charges told the High Court he had come to testify in an assault case the accused had filed against another person.

Edward Hirongua testified yesterday before the High Court at the premises of the Windhoek Correctional Facility that the accused, Piet Kondjeje Nakanene, who is his friend, was on 8 March 2014 involved in a fight with a person only known to him as Lion of Otjituoo, who beat him up.

Nakanene allegedly requested him to be a witness as a person who observed how he was beaten and added that Nakanene’s mother had also requested him to be witness for her son.

“I volunteered to testify on his behalf in that case. I do not know about the other charges he is facing,” Hirongua said.

Nakanene is accused of raping and killing Benedine Letesia Baumgarten between 12 and 13 March 2014 in Walvis Bay.

He is further accused of housebreaking with intent to rape and attempted to rape another woman on 3 September 2006 at house no. 63 in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

Nakanene is accused of raping and attempting to murder another woman on 6 April 2013 at house number 79/1770 in Sitrien Street in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

It is also alleged that he attempted to rape another woman on 15 October 2013 in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay and further attempted to murder that victim by strangling her with his bare hands.

The State further alleges that Nakanene defeated or obstruct the course of justice by removing Baumgarten’s body from her room and dumping it. He also removed evidence from the property at 79/1770 Sitrien Street in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, and disposed of the clothes he had worn during one alleged assault.

Hirongua in his testimony maintained the request to be a witness was made after he was discharged from a hospital in Grootfontein following a motor vehicle accident either on 19 or 20 February this year.

Hirongua told the court that while he was in the hospital, people visited him and that some of them told him that Nakanene was arrested and was in custody.

After he was discharged about three weeks later, he visited his friend who made the request to him to be witness in his case.

Hirongua said he could not testify in a case that he knew nothing about.

The trial continues before Judge Dinnah Usiku. Lawyer Mpokiseng Dube is appearing on behalf of Nakanene. Innocentia Nyoni is prosecuting.

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