THE hope for justice for a 14-year-old mentally challenged girl who was repeatedly raped by 12 boys over a period of six months soared as her case is now under scrutiny from the highest echelons of the Namibian Government.
The intervention of Yvonne Dausb, the Minister of Justice, who ordered the Prosecutor-General and the Gender Based Violence Protection Unit of the Namibian Police to investigate, now means that justice will follow its proper course for the victim.
Her hope for justice dwindled after her family forgave the perpetrators and because the Namibian Police at Rundu decided to halt investigations into the matter until they were certain that the Prosecutor-General would make a decision to proceed with a criminal case against the suspects.
Dausab today said on social media the matter resorts under the sexual offences with youth and is therefore a crime against the State and society.
“The family must not be allowed to decide. The Gender-based Violence Protection Unit (GBVPU) must investigate and the PG Must decide to prosecute,” she said.
The victim is below the age of consent, which is 16 in Namibia, and statutory rape charges should have been registered against the 12 perpetrators who are all the same age or older than the vulnerable girl.
The Namibian Police in the Kavango East Region confirmed that they have been informed about the matter in May this year and stated that the girl was raped on various occasions between December 2019 and May 2020 by the boys whose ages range from 14 to 18.
The police also confirmed that the suspects have all been arrested and released after the families of the suspects met with the family of the victim to seek and receive forgiveness.
It is not clear if the suspects were set free from custody before appearing in court on the charges of rape or if the docket simply was not forwarded to the PG’s office by negligent prosecutors in Rundu after the suspects made an appearance in court.
When asked about the matter, Martha Imarwa, the Prosecutor-General, said that she is yet to receive a docket pertaining to the alleged rape of the teenager.
“I just saw the story in the newspaper. I am yet to receive the docket on the case to evaluate its contents and to decide whether or not the suspect will be prosecuted,” she said.
The police in the Kavango East Region indicated that the rape charges have not been withdrawn and stated that they are still awaiting the decision by the PG in Windhoek.