Mareko’s rape bail judgment next week

By Confidente Reporter

TOBIAS MAREKO (36), the man accused of sexually abusing and raping his girlfriend’s underage daughter over a period of nearly five years will hear the verdict on his bail application next Tuesday.

This comes after Mareko’s defence counsel, Jan Wessels, made final document submissions in his fight for bail following days of a bail hearing in which renowned social worker, Dr Veronica Theron testified against the granting of bail. Theron assessed the reported rape victim last month.

Mareko faces a charge of rape after allegedly repeatedly sexually violating and raping the girl since she was 11 years old between 2015 and 2019 in a home they shared in Windhoek. The girl is now 15.

The court last week heard that medical reports show that the girl’s hymen is no longer intact, an indication that she may have been sexually active.

Theron last week told court that the ordeal left the girl emotionally numb, a sign of deep trauma and that she was more worried about the well-being of her mother and the alleged abuser than herself, now that the matter is known.

The victim, according to Theron, related that the sexual abuse started with Mareko getting into her bed and ultimately progressed to him touching her inappropriately on her breasts, buttocks and finally her private parts. She narrated that the incidents happened when her mother went for boot camp, where she was mostly dropped off by Mareko. He would return home knowing he would be alone with the child.

At times, he would allegedly sexually harass her when her mother was asleep. This, she said, happened at least four times a week. She said after touching her inappropriately, it soon progressed to sexual intercourse.

Theron said the girl narrated in detail what Mareko did to her, things girls her age would normally not know. Theron believes it is highly unlikely that she picked it up from a movie or read about it.

Theron said it was possible that Mareko groomed the girl and made her promise not to tell anyone. Theron said that the girl’s mother claimed that she knew only about Mareko inappropriately touching her daughter and had arranged for him to see a psychologist.

Theron added that the girl was greatly hurt when her mother supported the suspect but did nothing for the child’s wellbeing. She said the mother also made the victim speak to the suspect while he was in custody.

Theron said the mother also revealed that she was worried about her boyfriend, as he had threatened to commit suicide. She reached out to his friends asking them to check on him. In the process of helping her boyfriend she however failed to get her daughter examined.

Theron said the child overheard her mother often speaking to the suspect and friends over the phone and blaming her for seducing the suspect. As a trained social worker with 25 years’ experience, Theron said there was no motive for the girl to lie, given the detailed account she gave of what happened.

“She narrated that he made her sit on top of him and told her what to do and how to do it. The sexual assault was not aggressive. He groomed her because she lived with him and trusted him. He groomed her over a period of time.

“The mom did not act in the best interest of the child. She did not try to protect her child. She failed to protect the child. Instead of protecting the child, she afforded the suspect to go for therapy.”

In support of his bail application last week, Mareko said he intends to pursue further studies after dropping out in the second year of a diploma course in finance and accounting at NUST in 2006. He also wants to continue caring for his son, elderly father and other dependents if granted bail.

He said after the girl’s mother informed him he was accused of sleeping with an underage child, he terminated their relationship and moved out of the flat they shared for five years.

Wessels last week told court his client could pay N$25,000 bail and would report himself to the police three times a week if granted bail. The State, represented by prosecutor Rowan van Wyk however objected to bail citing a flight risk, public interest and the administration of justice.