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Human traffickers granted bail

Human traffickers granted bail

SUSPECTS accused of trafficking a 14-year-old on Wednesday succeeded in their bail application at Oshakati Magistrate’s Court.

Sylvia Bonifatius, 20, was granted bail of N$2 000, and her co-accused, 32-year-old Jakob van Zyl was granted bail in the amount of N$5 000.

They will also have to report to the Oshakati Police Station three times a week. The duo is also facing charges of rape, combating of immoral practices, drugging a female for unlawful carnal intercourse, use of means to stupefy a female for unlawful carnal intercourse, and kidnapping. Oshakati Chief Magistrate Mika Namweya, said the granting of bail is due to a lack of evidence suggestive of Bonifatius and Van Zyl committing further offences or that they are a danger to public or that they would jeopardize the criminal justice system because investigations are at a preliminary stage.

“The court was unable to be persuaded that probabilities exist that the accused will not stand their trial based on the grounds raised by the respondents, more to the fact that they did not place the court into believing that conviction is inevitable therefore circumspect lengthy sentence which could be incentive to abscond,” said Namweya.

Namweya added that the respondent has failed to show that likelihood exists that the accused is or will harbor any intentions to interfere or tamper with evidence, and as a result the two were granted bail.

According to police spokesperson Inspector Petrus Imbili, the 14-year-old girl left her parents’ house following a disagreement. She then linked up with Bonifatius, who provided her with a one-night accommodation before moving her to Van Zyl’s house at Ondangwa, where she was allegedly kept indoors and raped for three consecutive days. Imbili said that the next move was to move her to a coastal town, said to be either Luderitz or Henties Bay.

“How a 20-year-old resident of Oshakati linked up so easily with a 32-year-old resident of Ondangwa remains a mystery, but our investigators will not leave any stone unturned,” Imbili said.

Imbili said that Van Zyl is a Namibian citizen but is originally from South Africa. Imbili further noted that after the rescue and the arrests, both the victim and the suspects made attempts to deceive the police.

Bonifatius allegedly tried to hide her real age, claiming that she was 18 years old. Her real age was only discovered after the police made inquiries at Home Affairs. Imbili said that the victim also tried to protect the suspect.

 

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