Family of girl who was raped at 10 years old still seeks justice after 7 years

Sharlien Tjambari

The justice system continues to fail us

The mother and family members of a girl who was raped in 2011 when she was 10-years-old, still seeks justice for their child. On Tuesday, the family went to the Swakopmund Magistrate Court to hand in a petition opposing the granting of bail to the alleged suspect, Immanuel Nowaseb (36).
The mother, whose name cannot be mentioned, said she feels that the justice system has failed her daughter, because it seems like the suspect has more rights. “This man has been delaying this case, and has come a long way and it is very unreasonable that a case such as this continuously gets postponed, just for bail application”, said the concerned mother. She further added that her child still gets emotional every time the case appears in court and that she already testified.
The mother handed over the petition to the Public Prosecutor, Faith Nyaungwa in front of the Swakopmund Magistrate court. “We are worried that our girls are not safe in our society due to the evil that is happening as they fall prey and become victims of rape and murder. We humbly request that the honourable court takes cognizance of the fact that this accused had for a while absconded from custody, thus he remains a flight risk”.
The petition further reads: “It is clear that the accused person plays delay tactics in finalising the matter. He always gets his way. Why is justice being delayed in this matter, is the rights of an accused person more superior to the right of freedom of a victim”.
Nowaseb was arrested in 2011 in Swakopmund for allegedly raping the 10-year-old girl. It is alleged that he cal-led the 10-year-old girl to meet him at Hero Bar in order to give her money which he owed her mother. The victim went to the agreed place with her younger brother and upon arrival he took the two children to his shack which is opposite the bar. Nowaseb allegedly instructed the girl to undress and threatened her with a toy-gun. He raped her in front of her brother. He has been in custody since his arrest.
To date, Nowaseb has pleaded not guilty to the rape charge and the bail hearing has been postponed since 2012 because every time Nowaseb goes to court he changes lawyers.
According to sources Nowaseb now has the eighth lawyer. The bail application hearing was supposed to take place on 25 September, but his new private lawyer did not show up. The lawyer who will be representing him informed the state on Monday afternoon that it was short notice and that the case needs to be postponed. A new magistrate, John Sindano was also appointed on Tuesday and he will preside over the latest bail application.
The bail application hearing was postponed to 7 November, and the trial is set for 15 and 16 November this year in the Regional Court. Nowaseb remains in custody and is being detained in Windhoek because of his pending cases.
Nowaseb also have pending cases of theft and fraud in Okahandja, Windhoek and Gibeon, which he committed between 2017 and 2018 while in custody.

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