Omusati Police alarmed by late reporting of rape

A rape case involving a Finnish national and a minor from the Omusati region is one of three cases that have left the Namibian Police reeling, owing to the lateness in the reporting of the crime.
According to Omusati Regional Crime Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu, the parents of the victim only brought the matter, which happened between January and June this year, to the attention of the Police last week.
The case, Kanyetu said, involves a Finnish national, who is alleged to have had sexual relations with the minor, a Grade 8 pupil at the Oshandjamwenyo Combined School.
“The family was aware about the relationship and knew that it was a crime, yet nobody bothered to report the man until last week when they found out that the minor is pregnant. Now that the man has gone back to Finland, we are struggling,” Kanyetu said.  
 Kanyetu said parents in the region have been reluctant to report cases of rape involving minors and incest cases to the police until at the later stage, and as a result, the delay is affecting investigations.
“It has become a trend in this region to report rape cases involving minors and family members late, not knowing that it makes our work difficult,” said Kanyetu.
According to the deputy commissioner, two other rape cases, that took place months ago, were only brought forward last week.
One such reported took place on the 1st of October, where a 13 year-old girl was taken to a 31-year-old man’s room by a female relative to be raped.
“It appears the family knew what had happened but did not contact the police until last week when they were urged by village councillors. As a result, the two suspects are both at large and we are trying to find them,” he said.
The third case, in which a 24 year-old man raped his 13 year-old cousin, took place on the 13th of October.
“Again they waited until the minor got sick and were urged by the hospital official to report the matter. In this case the suspect is also still at large,” said Kanyetu.
 Kanyetu urged people in the region to report the crime as soon as possible, saying that delays do not only make police work difficult, but put the victim’s health at risk.
“When a case is reported immediately it does only help investigators gather evidence but also reduces the risks of diseases and pregnancy for the victim with the help of health workers,” said Kanyetu.