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By: Justicia Shipena

A former school cleaner and hostel father at Karundu Primary School hostel in Otjiwarongo has been sentenced to 68 years imprisonment on 32 counts of rape.

Mervin Nguyapeua (53) was convicted of rape in October last year for raping ten boys at the school’s hostel in Otjiwarongo over three years.

High Court judge Alfred Siboleka said Nguyapeua called his victims between 13 to 17 years of age to his residence on different occasions in his sentencing. He showed them a pornographic video and used it to arouse the boys.

Siboleka laid the sentence on counts with counts one to six, Nguyapeua receiving 15 years imprisonment.

“Counts seven to nine with six years imprisonment, counts ten to 16 with fifteen years imprisonment, counts 17 to 20 with eight years imprisonment, counts 21 and 22 with four years imprisonment, counts 23 to 25 with six years imprisonment, counts 26 and 27 with four years imprisonment, count 28 with two years imprisonment, count 29 with two years imprisonment, counts 30 to 32 with six years imprisonment.”

Siboleka said that Nguyapeua had fired all his legal representatives for no reason during the trial.

“I wrote a letter to the registrar requesting for the appointment of an amicus curiae (friend of the court) counsel to help him in mitigations before the sentence,” he said.

However, Nguyapeua refused to be legally represented during the mitigation proceedings as he took the grounds that he did nothing wrong.

Thus, he had no reason to ask for mercy or be remorseful.

“The accused elected to place his personal circumstances on record and under oath but will not ask for mercy. Neither will he be remorseful because he is innocent on the matter,” said Siboleka.

Born in 1969 at Itemba Village in the Otjozondjupa region, Nguyapeua has 17 children outside wedlock and none from his traditionally married wife.

“He asked the court to set him free because he did nothing wrong and was desirous to return home. The accused was arrested on 07 March 2016 and has been in custody for seven years,” Siboleka said.

In this vein, the court decided to treat several counts of sexual assault perpetrated on an individual as one for purposes of sentence.

“In the same breath, the court’s considered view that the Nguyapeua’sNguyapeua’s personal circumstances fall far below the violations he has been convicted on,” said the judge.

During the trial, the State had submitted to the court that the position Nguyapeua t held at the school’s hostel was that of a parent and their child.

“In my view and understanding, this relationship comes about by contemplation of law. These school pupils did not expect such behaviour from the accused at all.”

Siboleka added a clinical psychologist who screened the victims

found that they were subtly, carefully and thoroughly groomed.

“Such that the molestations would not have easily surfaced had it not been for the ungroomed, none hostel resident Vemuna, a wrong button the accused pressed trying to molest sexually, that resulted in all hell breaking loose,” he said.

The State also submitted that the personal circumstances of Nguyapeua do not measure the gravity and severity of the crimes he has been convicted of.

“There are no substantial and compelling circumstances to justify a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentences. The prosecution counsel accordingly requested the court to impose the prescribed minimum sentences on each of the thirty-two counts of rape,” he said.

While on duty, Nguyapeua used a roll call at the kitchen during meals and in the sleeping rooms in the evening to ensure that he appropriately accounted for the presence of each learner.

“While on duty, he also called the victims individually, at different times and days to his residence where he sexually molested them and showed them a blue movie.”

Amongst the ten boys, one of them was sexually violated several times more than others.

“The ordeal was surfaced by a none hostel residence whom he also wanted to assault, but the victim did not turn up.”

The content of the sexual movies extracted from Nguyapeua’s cellphone was viewed in court during his trial, and according to Siboleka, this strengthened the State’s case.

Additionally, Siboleka stated that society is outraged by the sexual contamination of school children.

“Even worse when these evils are perpetrated by an elderly person such as the accused. In society’s eyes, the accused is a parent in his own right. It is also the reason why the court did not doubt him when he testified having seventeen

children,” he concludes.





Justicia Shipena

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