Three judges of the Supreme Court last Friday dismissed an appeal lodged by the Prosecutor General against a finding by High Court Judge Kobus Miller that Junias Fillipus, the man accused of raping and killing 17-year-old Magdalena Stoffels, can sue for malicious prosecution.
Stoffels was a pupil at Dawid Bezuidenhout High School when she was brutally raped and murdered in a riverbed near the Windhoek College of Education in Khomasdal.
Judge Miller however shot down Fillipus’ other claims of wrongful arrest and unlawful detention as the action was instituted more than 12 months after the cause of action arose.
The claim for wrongful and unlawful arrest on July 27, 2010 and for doing so without a warrant, and without reasonable and probable cause of suspicion, for which he asked N$200,000 and the claim for wrongful detention of Fillipus for 291 days for which he wanted N$2 million for damages suffered, was thrown out by Judge Miller, but he ordered that the claim for wrongful prosecution of N$250,000 against the PG could be heard.
The PG then lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court but failed to secure leave to appeal from the High Court which resulted in the Supreme Court striking the matter from the roll and placing it back on the High Court roll.
According to Appeal Judge Dave Smuts who wrote the judgement with the concurrence of Deputy Chief Justice, Petrus Damaseb, and Acting Judge of Appeal Theo Frank, the order made by Judge Miller was interlocutory in nature and required leave to appeal from the High Court.
He further said the order to dismiss the special plea while incidental to the main dispute could have been raised on appeal once the matter was finalised. But, he said, crucially it did not dispose of Fillipus’ action and once finalised was appealable. Fillipus was arrested on July 27, 2010 after he was found washing himself and his clothes in a riverbed near the crime scene and he was charged with the brutal rape and murder of the schoolgirl after whom a bridge built in the vicinity was named in her memory.
Fillipus spent 191 days in custody and the charges against him were withdrawn on May 13, 2011 as a result of a purported lack of evidence against him.
Fillipus made headlines again in 2014 when he was arrested for bestiality for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a goat.
He also spent six months in jail for breaking into his aunt’s house at Onaghulo village, where he stayed, immediately after his release from custody in Windhoek in the Stoffels case.