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Oshana Top investigator’s evidence termed Shaky In Rape Case…as Ondangwa Businessman Gets N$ 20 000 Bail

By: Eba Kandovazu

The Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court was a hive of activity today when Ondangwa Businessman Otto Niimboto made his bail application.

The bail application also saw the presence of Ondangwa Mayor and businessman Paavo Amwele in a packed gallery. Magistrate Alice Gawanas this afternoon set free rape-accused Niimboto after granting him bail for N$20 000. Niimboto is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman on three different occasions.

He faces three charges of rape and one of indecent assault. Magistrate Gawanas said that the state, represented by Prosecutor Brunah Mukoya, did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that Niimboto would interfere with witnesses.

According to the state, the investigating officer did not show up at court as he was on sick leave. This prompted Oshana regional crime coordinator Hilya Aipumbu to testify on short notice.

Aipumbu informed the court that she was only informed today about the bail application. Asked why the immediate supervisor of the investigating officer in the matter could not come to court to testify instead, Aipumbu said, “She is not comfortable with testifying in court,”. She also could not say whether or not she had proof that the investigating officer was indeed booked off. This is after the state unsuccessfully applied for a postponement for tomorrow. Magistrate Gawanas termed the application a” wishy-washy” application, which she says would jeopardise Niimboto.

“One night in custody is one night too many,” she remarked.

The Magistrate also found that Aipumbu was not prepared for court and was “uncomfortable” with the questions because most of her responses were “I don’t know”.

Arguing why they brought the bail application on an urgent basis, Namandje said that he had to fly back to Windhoek this evening, prompting the Magistrate to make a bail ruling on the spot.

The state alleges that Niimboto coerced the victim because he threatened to defame her by informing her family members that she took away his manhood as he could no longer become erect unless he was sleeping with her. Niimboto denies the allegations, saying that the sexual intercourse was consensual at all times.

According to him, the two met on 28 April 2022, just outside a house he owns in Ondangwas Extension six. His version of events is that he asked the victim to be his girlfriend, and the two had their first sexual encounter on 30 March 2022.

He says that they had sex, and he gave her N$220 afterwards to go buy chips as she was hungry.

The state lawyer Brunah Mukoya alleges that Niimboto forcefully inserted his finger into the victim’s private parts, saying he was drunk and aggressive.

After this first encounter, Mukoya says the two met at a guest house in Oshitayi. He claims that the victim had informed him that she had a boyfriend.

Niimboto said she requested that he gives her money in the range of N$300 and N$400 every time she needed it.

It is further the state’s case that the victim was offered N$200 on the first encounter only because she begged him to stop, that she would meet up with him the following day but had no transport money.

The state argued that the victim would still be Niimboto’s “sex toy” had she not opened a case against him. Prosecutor Makoya said that the suspect called the victim eight times when she opened the case. She also argued that Niimboto was no stranger to the guesthouse in question, and that he would, in fact, interfere with state witnesses there.

Aipumbu told The Villager that “a reliable source” called her yesterday, saying that the police should take care of the docket as anything could go wrong. She did not shy away from explaining that accused persons “make dockets disappear” on several occasions.

Namandje has since requested for the docket to be handed over to Police Chief Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga “If this is what happens in Namibia”.

The Magistrate said that she ruled that the suspect should not be held in custody due to several “shaky” grounds. The matter is postponed to 23 April.


Eba Kandovazu

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