THE President of the Namibia Chess Federation (NCF), Israel Shilongo, on Friday appeared at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court for a charge of rape.
During his brief court appearance before Magistrate Hatutala Shikalepo, Shilongo, 27, was denied bail and remanded in custody due to the seriousness of the case, the administration of justice, the interest of the public and because the victim in the matter submitted a statement objecting to the granting of bail.
His case was initially remanded to 29 October to allow for further police investigations and for Shilongo, who had informed the court that he will be applying for legal aid, to get representation.
He has since, however, approached a private law firm to represent him.
With Metcalfe Attorneys now on his case, Shilongo is expected back in court next week Wednesday for a formal bail application.
Shilongo’s alleged rape was exposed through the #MeTooNamibia movement when his alleged victim recently shared the horrifying details of the rape incident.
According to the victim, on 29 June, she met Shilongo through a mutual friend while attending the Windhoek Annual Cultural Festival.
After having drinks with Shilongo, who is also said to be on the steering committee of the Windhoek Annual Cultural Festival, the victim and her friend allegedly agreed to leave with him to his place after assuring the young women that they could share a bed.
“We got to his place and there was a chess board. I mean I loved chess so we proceeded to play the game chess. After the game, we went to bed and I only took my shoes off and slept in my full bodysuit. Then all of a sudden, I woke up naked and felt something was in me. I was completely naked,” she narrated via text messages that were shared on social media by a member of #MeTooNamibia.
“So I started feeling myself and I found his fingers inside me. I immediately started freaking out and kept screaming repeating this,’I said no!’, ‘Why would you do this!’, ‘I kept saying no’, ‘why do men do these things?’ and ‘I was actually enjoying your company’,” the victim’s account continues.
After allegedly apologising and offering to take her home, the victim stormed out of the room, went to wake her friend who was sleeping in another room and took a taxi home, where she immediately informed her mother of what had happened.
The victim’s mother immediately took her to the police station and there, a rape case against Shilongo was opened on 1 July.
Acting president of the NCF, Mclean Handjaba, today told Informanté that he cannot comment on the matter as it is before the court.
“The federation does not condone any kind of violence, especially against women. We cannot comment any further as it is now a court matter. We just pray that justice prevails,” said Handjaba.
According to his LinkedIn account, Shilongo is also a member of FIDE World Chess Federation’s Planning and Development Commission, as well as a Marketing Director as Young Engineers e2.