THE 16-year-old mentally challenged girl from Rundu, who was allegedly raped by nine suspects from December 2019 to May 2020, has been sent for a psychological evaluation in order to get more clarity on her claims of rape.
The Kavango East Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu confirmed that a case of rape was registered with the police by a social worker during May because the victim’s aunt did not wish to do so.
Deputy Commissioner Kanyetu stated that the victim is a 16-year-old girl and not aged 14 and that she was allegedly raped by nine suspects and not 12 as previously reported.
According to Deputy Commissioner Kanyetu, none of the nine suspects aged between 14 and 18 have been arrested pending the finalization of the investigations.
“No arrest has been made yet as there were claims that the victim is mentally challenged, however all of them have been issued with warning statements to stay away from the victim. The victim has also been referred for psychological evaluation. This is the last stage of the investigation, and thereafter the prosecutor general will have to decide whether the suspects will be prosecuted,” Kanyetu said.
According to Deputy Commissioner Kanyetu, the victim had gone missing for three days on 15 May 2020 which arose suspicion from family as well as social workers.
He also confirmed that investigators have medical reports which prove that there was sexual intercourse carried out with the mentally challenged girl.
“We believe that it’s not at the discretion of the parents or family to withdraw the case of rape. This victim is being treated like an orphan because her own family does not wish to stand up for her rights,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Kanyetu said that he has instructed the Gender-Based Violence Unit to investigate the matter more closely to find out the extent of the abuse perpetrated against the girl.
“This little girl may possibly be experiencing a lot of abuse at home. Not only is she a victim of rape but she is mentally challenged as well. She, however, does not even receive state benefits for persons with disabilities,” Kanyetu said.
He indicated that all the issues such as abuse and neglect surrounding the girl will be tended to.