Grandparents want suspect to remain in custody
“THE man I encountered alongside the highway told me to get on his back so he could give me a piggyback ride. I tried to resist him but he told me he would kill me. I was scared so I went along with him. He took me to a secluded place and cut me between my legs and raped me.”
These were the chilling words of the brave 10-year-old rape victim to Martha Gawanas, the women who rescued her on the Daan Viljoen highway, after she was allegedly mutilated and raped by serial rapist, Gervin Gawanab, on 26 October at farm Satan Locht.
Recounting the horrific story, Martha, who is the sister-in-law of the victim’s mother and is not related to the suspect in the rape case, claims that the rape victim and a few children came to Daan Viljoen and wanted to go to farm Satan Locht, but never made it to their destination.
After learning that not all the children returned to Daan Viljoen and that the victim was taken by a stranger, community members went on a manhunt.
“We took the car and we drove along the Daan Viljoen highway. We eventually spotted her and we picked her up. When she got into the car she told me what had happened to her. I could, however, not bring myself to check if she has indeed sexually assaulted. I felt so bad,” Martha recalls.
She further stated that the police were called in and that they drove further along the Daan Viljoen highway in the hopes of finding the young girl’s attacker.
“We spotted him on the highway, however, when the police officer tried to arrest him, he fled the scene into the mountains,” Martha said.
The alleged rapist’s grandmother, Emma Abraham, and grandfather Moses Abraham, who stay at farm Satan Locht with the suspect, remember feeling overwhelmingly sad when they heard the news.
The grandparents claim that despite his violent past, Gawanab’s father bailed him out after the last rape charge for which he on Monday made a brief court appearance.
“I want Gervin to remain in custody for good because he is a risk to society. Even at the farm here, people are panicking,” Gawanab’s grandparents said.
Gawanab on Wednesday made his first court at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court for the latest case. During court proceedings, State Prosecutor Idda Hertha Itembu appealed that Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni deny him bail.
“The courtroom is full today due to this case. What the accused has done has sent shock waves throughout the Namibian nation,” Itembu stated.
She further added that it would not be in the public’s interest to release Gawanab on bail due to the seriousness of the crime. She further added that the suspect has a propensity to commit these types of crimes and has shown no remorse, as this is not his first charge on rape.
Gawanab has been charged with the rape of a minor, as well as assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm. Despite the heavy charges laid against him, Gawanab appeared calm and even smiled for the cameras.
The suspect’s next court appearance is set for 5 December to allow him an opportunity to seek legal aid and for police to conclude their investigations.
Commenting on her daughter’s recovery process, the mother who found herself overwhelmed by tears at court stated that the victim has been discharged from hospital and is making a gradual recovery as she is able to now walk.
Distraught: The tormented mother of the young victim during the court proceedings.
Monster: The alleged serial rapist, Gervin Gawanab, being led away by a police officer._Photos: Marthina K Mutanga