WINDHOEK – A 39-year-old man was on Friday sentenced to 17 years in prison in the Regional Court for raping his nine-year-old niece between 2006 and 2011.
The man’s identity cannot be revealed because he is HIV positive and is related to the victim.
The victim is now 16 years old and the incidents commenced when the victim was nine years old and the culprit was 32 years of age.
The victim eventually informed her father by writing him a letter in 2011.
“While it is accepted that ill health is a relevant factor, in this case this court is unable to adopt the stance that the accused’s HIV status is a favourable circumstance, a factor enabling the accused to qualify for a lesser sentence,” Acting Regional Court Magistrate Claudia Claasen remarked during sentencing.
The accused was arrested on March 17, 2011. On May 20 2013 he pleaded not guilty to the charge and he was convicted on November 22 2013 of the charge of rape.
During the trial the complainant described an incident that occurred in 2006. She testified that she woke up after feeling a heavy load on top of her. The accused then stood up, took her towel which was nearby and wiped the bed. Thereafter the accused left the bedroom.
But then she also realised there was a substance in her private parts. She was paining and she found her underwear low on her thighs and not around her waist where it was when she fell asleep, the victim informed the court during the trial.
The complainant further testified that many more of such incidents occurred at the hands of the accused, regardless of whether she was asleep or awake.
The complainant stated that sometimes the accused would find her facing the wall, and tried to turn her but when she held her body solid so that he could not turn her, he would nevertheless penetrate his penis into her anus.
The victim further testified that March 15 2011 was the turning point for her. When the accused finished raping her, she made up her mind to go and show her father how the uncle left her “panties open, breasts swollen, and her bra lifted up.” But her father had already gone to work, so she eventually wrote a letter, which she gave to her small sister to give to their dad.
By Tunomukwathi Asino