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Woman who rescued Gawanab’s rape victim recounts events

Woman who rescued Gawanab’s rape victim recounts events

Zorena Jantze


MARTHA Gawanas, also known as Ousie Whitey, is the woman who found a then ten-year-old girl who had been raped and mutilated along the Daan Viljoen highway in 2018.


Martha, while testifying in the high court today, shared details of how a normal Friday afternoon turned to horror when the bloodied little girl ran to her for safety after the sexual assault that saw her genitalia cut.


The state witness, who testified before High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku, implicated Gervin Gawanab as the perpetrator.


She informed the court that although she and the accused share the same surname, they are not related and that she only knows him as he would oft the visit her oldest son.


Martha explained that at the time of the incident in October 2018, she was employed as a domestic worker in Klein Windhoek and had knocked off from work and had travelled to the Daan Viljoen roadblock where she was hoping to find a ride back to a farm near the area.


Woman rescued Gawanab rape victim recounts Martha Gawanas Ousie Whitey Daan Viljoen highway 2018
Pictured: Rape accused, Gervin Gawanab had four other rape cases against him, and allegedly violated the ten-year-old girl while out on bail. Photos: Marthina Mutanga


“As I was waiting, a group of children arrived – four boys and three girls. The children said that they were on their way to farm Satan Logh,” Martha recalls.


She added that after some time, she saw the suspect, Gervin Gawanab, walking in the same direction of the farm where the children were heading.


Martha explained that after a while, she saw two girls running back from the direction of the farm.


“After that, two boys also came running. When they came up to the road block I asked where the third girl was, to which they responded that the girl had been taken by a light skinned man wearing a pink shirt and blue shorts,” Martha recounted.


She added that after hearing this, she informed an officer at the roadblock.


“As we were driving, we saw the victim. We stopped, and she ran to the car. When she recognised me, she called out, ‘Ousie Whitey, a man raped me and stabbed me between the thighs,” Martha narrated.


She described that the young victim had been crying, the back of her head was dusty and she was covered in grass and dust and her pants stained with blood.


“I just picked up the girl and put her on my lap and said let’s drive a bit further, and we drove. We met up with Gervin as he was coming down the road towards us. When the victim saw the man, she shouted that that’s the man who raped her and fainted after that,” Martha testified.


The suspect, however, turned on his heels upon spotting the police officer and ran off and was only apprehended nine days later after a massive manhunt by police and community members.


Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji, however, discredited Martha’s claims that she knows the accused, stating that his client denied knowing her.  


Siyomunji further said that in her initial statement to the police, Martha had not identified Gawanab near the scene of the crime, and stated that she only saw a man walking in the same direction as the kids.


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