A man convicted for the rape of his daughter and consequently slapped with an 18-year-jail term is battling it out in the Windhoek High Court to be given a chance to appeal to the Supreme Court where he is confident he will make a strong case that will give him a better judgement.
Leonard David Tangeni who happen to be a nurse by profession is said to have raped his then 17-year-old daughter with the use of force and the victim’s grandfather and grandmother came out to testify against him which later saw him being locked up.
It is the defence council’s case that Tangeni, jumped the gun and hurried to file a notice of appeal before he was even convicted, which consequently got withdrawn.
It has however taken the convict seven years to file another one but the state has frowned upon why he had to be that late in doing so.
In his head of arguments via his lawyer, Tangeni disputed that his victim was raped under cohesive circumstances given that, among other things, she did not sustain any injuries to her private parts.
He also submitted that the court did not clearly elaborate what these cohesive circumstances where.
He argued that the court failed to prove whether there was the use of force during the act of rape and resorted to the English Dictionary meaning of cohesive circumstances as to mean the use of threats and force.
However, Judge Naomi Shivute trashed the argument stating, “Cohesive circumstances includes but not limited to… That’s what the court considered.”
The judge also pointed that the fact that the victim was a child of the perpetrator pointed to there existing an unequal relationship: “When the daughter is told by the father what to do there is no equality in that,” said the judge.
The prosecutor also said, “The court can find anything to be cohesive circumstances within the parameter of law. When a father tells you to do something there is force especially when a child is required to have sex.”
“The accused spoke to her and she disregarded it and for the second time he used an angry voice which is cohesive. So the court is not wrong in finding that the father/child relationship is a cohesive circumstance.”
Although the defence maintained that this relationship was being over-emphasised, it also submitted that those that gave witness to court contradicted each other in their versions of what transpired.
The state shot down at this saying although witnesses may contradict they can still be credible as they can not give accounts with a fixed exactitude.
It also said the absence of injuries on the victim’s private parts can not rule out that she was raped while failure to produce a psychological report as proof that the victim sought counselling does not prove that she was not raped as well.
“You may not afford a psychologist. Failure to produce a psychological repot does not mean one did not suffer trauma,” said the prosecutor.
Meanwhile judgement on whether the accused has grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court has been reserved for the 21st of August.