THE Windhoek High Court today sentenced a mother of five to an effective twenty-eight years in jail after she was found guilty of luring a teenage girl from her village to Okahandja with the intention of “selling her off” to men.
Tuufilwa Jonas, 34, was tried on three charges of rape and three charges of trafficking in persons.
She was employed as a general worker at a farm in Okahandja when she invited the victim with the promise of a job. The two are extended relatives.
The victim, who was 15-years-old at the time of the incident, had dropped out of school.
It was reported that one of the men Jonas arranged for the victim, gave Jonas money to pay for her transport from the north.
It is reported that Jonas would receive game meat, sugar and vegetables as payment from the men she set the victim up with.
In her testimony, the victim, who was visibly shaken after seeing Jonas, testified that the men would rape her more than twice in one night.
She added that one of the men even assaulted her at some point because she got into bed with her clothes on when he expected her to be waiting naked for him.
Judge Naomi Shivute has since ordered that one of the rape charges run concurrently with one of the trafficking charges, and as such, Jonas, who has been in custody for close to five years, will serve a total 28 years in jail.
The judge found that Jonas had shown remorse for her actions and has apologised for her crime.
Judge Shivute further maintained that Jonas deserved a second chance in life to be able to raise her five children, whose fathers are absent.
“The fact that she herself is a mother, however, weighs heavily on her. It’s even worse because the victim is related to her. It is questionable whether or not she is fit to care for her children. She took advantage of the vulnerability of the victim because she is an orphan. The scars of being raped will remain with her and she was exposed to all sorts of health risks,” Judge Shivute ruled.