Rape suspect arrested for attacking woman

By Confidente Reporter

AT about 03h00 on Saturday, 28 September near the Caribbean Bar at Mondesa in Swakopmund, a young woman was kidnapped by two assailants while on her way home and raped repeatedly at knifepoint.

According to the police in the Erongo region, the 22-year old victim was walking home in the early hours of that morning when two unknown men approached her and forced her at knifepoint to a nearby empty house. “The two unknown suspects ordered the victim to undress herself, which she did out of fear and they had sexual intercourse with the victim,” the police said.

The rape suspects then wanted to take the victim – still at knifepoint – to another isolated location to continue with their sexual assault, but on the way there the woman reportedly saw a group of men from her neighbourhood in the distance and ran towards them. The two attackers then fled the scene.

The police said the two suspects were not known to the victim at the time but she would be able to identify them in person. The investigation is being headed by the Gender-Based Violence Protection Special Division.

In a related development the police on Tuesday said a 21-year-old man had been charged with rape and kidnapping after an incident on Friday, 4 October when at around 02h00 in the morning, the suspect Desmond Uwuseb (said to be a homeless man) took a 41-year-old woman by force from the open area near Mondesa cemetery while she was on her way home and threatened to kill her if she did not comply.

He allegedly “took the victim to Mondesa cemetery and had sexual intercourse with her under coercive circumstances.” Thereafter he “took her to his place not far from the cemetery and again had sexual intercourse with her without her consent.” The police said Uwuseb was arrested soon after the attack.

On Monday, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu provided an update that the suspect in the last-mentioned case, Uwuseb, had also been identified by the 22-year-old complainant in the first-mentioned case of 28 September “as one of the two suspects who raped her.”  Uwuseb was expected to also be charged in that matter this week.

The police again issued warnings to women in Mondesa and the surrounding areas not to walk home alone from bars or after a visit to friends late at night and called on women especially to protect themselves or to ensure they are protected.

With apparent premonition, Inspector Daniel Gurirab in June had cautioned women and teenagers in the northeastern suburbs to beware of late-night attackers and to avoid walking alone after a woman was assaulted on her way to work and almost raped in the open area between the DRC and Mondesa.

The woman in that instance successfully fought off the attacker, who nevertheless beat and robbed her. The police said the attacker had punched the woman in the face to subdue her after following her for some time, but she was fortunate to escape without further injury.

The police called for greater vigilance to prevent such attacks on women and school-going children.