By Anna Shilongo
Former security guard Lesley Nico Kukame, who is accused of raping and brutally murdering a three-year-old girl at the Katutura Cinema Hall in February 2005, pleaded not guilty to all three charges in the High Court on Tuesday.
Kukame appeared before Judge Kato van Niekerk on charges of murder, rape and abduction.
Two police officers and the deceased’s aunt were the first to testify when trial proceedings started on Tuesday, while other former colleagues who worked together with Kukame at the Cinema Hall in Katutura as security guards testified yesterday.
In his testimony, Gernard Johannes, who worked for Kalahari Security Service, said he encountered the accused on a Tuesday and before they parted, the accused told him that there was a lady looking for a child.
“I asked him which people are looking for a child and he said it was the people from next door,” said Johannes.
He told the court that he again encountered the accused on Wednesday afternoon, when he went to ask for water.
“He called me inside and upon my arrival, he told me that he was in trouble, and I asked him what trouble. He said he had a quarrel with his girlfriend,” he testified.
The next morning (Thursday) the two were apparently questioned and interrogated by police officers.
Markus Haimbili, who exchanged shifts with the accused that Tuesday, told the court that during his shift a lady approached and asked him whether he saw a little girl and he said he had just arrived and promised to enquire from the accused.
“I informed him later and he said the people next door also approached him looking for a child,” he said.
It is alleged that between February 7 – 10, 2005, the 27-year-old former security guard abducted a three-year-old girl from a house where she was staying in Independence Avenue, Katutura without the knowledge of her legal guardians.
He apparently took the girl to the Katutura Cinema Hall, where he is alleged to have brutally raped and murdered the helpless child.
The deceased resided with her grandmother near the Cinema Hall in Katutura.
It is also alleged that the accused and the deceased knew each other and the accused held a position of trust over the little girl.
The court was told that the accused was on duty at the Cinema Hall during the period February 7 – 10, 2005.
At the time, Kukame apparently got the deceased to accompany him and took her into a generator room, which is annexed to the Cinema Hall, for purposes of having sexual intercourse with her. The accused then murdered the girl, it is charged.
The child died at the scene. She is alleged to have died of asphyxia caused either by strangulations or by her panties, which were shoved into her mouth.
She also suffered grievous bodily harm as a result of the rape.
State prosecutor Dominic Lisulo is prosecuting while Ivo dos Santos is the defence counsel.
The accused remains in police custody and the trial continues.