WINDHOEK – Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on Monday sentenced a man convicted of eight counts of rape near the Katutura Intermediate Hospital during 2010 to 120 years behind bars.
The judge however halved the sentence to 60 years after he found the original sentence too severe. The judge suspended 60 of the 120 years for five years on condition Rooinasie is not convicted of rape during the period of suspension.
He also ordered the 33 years and six months he imposed on the other charges, including attempted murder and indecent assault, to run concurrently with the sentence on the rape counts.
Jan Rooinasie, who used the guise of luring unsuspecting young women into a bushy area near the Katutura hospital on the pretext of needing help with a heavily pregnant wife and their luggage before strangling them unconscious and sexually violating them, was convicted on eight counts of rape, four of attempted murder, two of indecent assault and two crimen injuria charges by Judge Siboleka.
The charges involved the rape of a 13-year-old girl on May 25, 2007 and also the repeated rape of three other women, aged 20 to 24, between March 2, 2010 and March 22, 2010 after convincing them to help him with his apparently pregnant wife. He also let loose a verbal volley of obscenities at his hapless victims.
With regard to the recent Supreme Court judgement that declared sentences in excess of thirty-seven and a half years unconstitutional, legal experts New Era spoke to said this did not include sentences of rape as a separate statutory provision provides for sentences on rape charges.
Currently the Rape Act makes provision for a sentence of not less than 15 years for a first rape conviction and not less than 45 years for a subsequent conviction in cases where violence was used.
Rooinasie was sentenced to 15 years on each of the rape charges, eight years on each of the attempted murder convictions, six months on the first crimen injuria conviction, three months each for the indecent assault convictions and three months for the second crimen injuria conviction.
According to Judge Siboleka, the attacks on the young women were brutal and vicious and Rooinasie is a danger to the female population and deserves to be removed from the public for a very long time.
He said that women, defenceless as they are, have the right to exist and move about doing their business freely and without fear.
“Those who take it upon themselves to terrorise them in our society deserve to be tackled with an iron fist,” the judge stressed.
According to Judge Siboleka, the accused used knives and screwdrivers to threaten his victims into submission. He said that Rooinasie falsely convinced his victims that he was in desperate need of assistance to carry his pregnant wife’s luggage, but when they reached a footpath where the wife was supposed to be, there was no sign of her and he suddenly launched his attack on his unsuspecting victims.
The judge further recounted that Rooinasie would pull out a knife or screwdriver and viciously grab the victims, pinned them down and throttled them until they passed out. When the victim regained consciousness, the judge said, she would find Rooinasie on top of her, repeatedly violating her. He said it was during these brutal attacks that the victims observed a tattoo of a burning candle on his left shoulder as well as some missing front teeth in his mouth.
According to the judge, it was this evidence coupled with the fact that he intimated with his victims in broad daylight after he had nicely greeted, talked and walked with them to his place of attack that ensnared him into conviction.
Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji appeared for Rooinasie on instructions of legal aid and Deputy Prosecutor General Karin Esterhuizen appeared for the State.