State wins first battle in trial of alleged rapist

by Roland Routh

State wins first battle in trial of alleged rapist

Windhoek

The state has passed the first hurdle in its quest to convict an alleged rapist of three schoolgirls when a warning statement in which he confessed to raping one of the girls was ruled admissible as evidence yesterday.

In the statement taken by Detective Chief Inspector Nikolaus Kupembona the day after Rudolf Goagoseb, 25, was arrested Goagoseb confessed to raping one of the girls. According to the statement, Goagoseb indicated he was on his way home from work on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, between 13h00 and 14h00. He said he was using a footpath that runs between Nau-Aib and Transkalahari High School when he came upon three girls on their way back from school.



According to the statement, he asked them for Oros and one of the girls told the others to give him some. Goagoseb reportedly told the officer that one of the girls told the others: “Give the guy Oros, because he looks like someone who can do harm to you, even rape you.”
“I then led them further into the bush and decided to rape one of them,” Goagoseb had admitted. He said one of the other girls managed to run away and alert some people, who then apprehended him.

“I was then taken to the police station and from there to the hospital where they examined me,” the statement concluded.
During the trial, Goagoseb disputed the contents of the statement and his state-funded lawyer, Titus Ipumbu, declared a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of the statement. Ipumbu told the court at the time that his client claims he was assaulted and coerced into making the statement. Goagoseb claimed that he only agreed to make the warning statement, because he was assaulted by three police officers in the office of the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Neib, at the Okahandja police station prior to being taken to Kupembona.

He further claimed he was told that his mother would be arrested as an accomplice if he does not cooperate. The three police officers were called to testify and t all said no assaults or intimidation took place. Acting Judge Boas Usiku believed the officers and said they were “candid, forthright and forthcoming with their answers”.

The same cannot be said for the accused person, the presiding judge noted. “From his evidence the alleged assault appears to have been launched gratuitously without there being initial attempts to obtain a statement from him” Acting Judge Usiku said.

According to him, the court found the alleged assault and threat by the police to be “recent fabrications, false and entirely unfounded”. In the end, the judge said, he is satisfied that the state has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person made the statement in question freely and voluntarily.

Consequently, the statement made by the accused person on September 30, 2010 was found to be admissible as evidence against the accused person in the main trial, Usiku concluded. It was also established on Tuesday that Goagoseb’s DNA was also found on the clothes of one of the victims.

Forensic scientist Maryn Swart from the Namibia Forensic Science Institute testified that samples taken from the clothes of the girl Goagoseb is accused of having physically raped contained his DNA.

Goagoseb faces five counts of rape, two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and one count of attempted murder in the High Court. He previously appeared in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court, where he was released on warning as he was still underaged.

He is currently in custody in Karibib on an unrelated offence.

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