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Booys’ lawyer quits

2021-07-27  Maria Amakali

Booys’ lawyer quits
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The lawyer representing rape accused and former Okahandja regional councillor Steve Biko Booys’ has thrown in the towel. 

Booys, who is also a former National Council member, is accused of raping his biological daughter. 

Vernon Lutibezi from K Kamwi Law Chambers quit defending Booys in his High Court fight against the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court’s decision not to release him on bail. 

In a letter dated Friday, Lutibezi furnished the court with his notice that he was withdrawing from the case but did not give reasons why he is stepping away from the case. 

Booys is currently petitioning the High Court, seeking an order that would set aside magistrate Khaepriums Swartz’s ruling on 13 April. 

Swartz refused to grant Booys bail, citing a strong prima facie case, that it is not in the public interest nor in the interest of the administration of justice and there is likelihood of him interfering with investigations and state witnesses. 

In his appeal, Booys claims Swartz misdirected himself in law and fact, and he “approached the evidence adduced and the proceedings allowed in a one-sided and irregular manner, favouring the state’’.  

He claims the court failed to ensure the complainant’s statement was handed up as part of the record. 

Swartz allegedly allowed the bail hearing to continue on hearsay evidence led by the state, although the prosecution was in possession vital documents such as medical reports of the complainant, the complainant’s statement and transcripts of messages allegedly between him and the complainant. 

“The learned magistrate gave no consideration at all to the fact that the only mode of communication between to appellant and complainant was the alleged but not proven or admitted SMS messages,” said Booys in his notice. 

He added there is no evidence of him attempting to influence the complainant or any other witness. 

The court also failed to note there was no evidence on record to substantiate the allegations that he will interfere with ongoing investigations. 

Booys explained the court’s refusal to release him on bail does not only affect his personal circumstances or his businesses but it also affects other people’s wellbeing, as they depend on him and earn an income from his businesses.  

Booys, who has been in police custody since his arrest on 2 February, is denying accusations that he sexually violated his daughter on two occasions in January.  

The State is alleging he raped the 20-year-old woman at his home at Okahandja on 16 January and also on 17 January. 

It is also alleged the complainant was raped while she was affected by sleep or intoxicating liquor or a substance that mentally incapacitated her. 

During the bail hearing, Booys told the court the complainant was at his house on the two days in
question. 

He said there were drinks at his house but denied he provided alcohol to the woman. 

Although Booys denied any contact with the victim, the State said it has evidence in the form of cell phone records and copies of messages that show Booys repeatedly contacted the complainant from 18 January to 2 February. 

The prosecutor further claims the cell phone messages exchanged between him and his alleged victim showed the contact between them was specifically about the allegations of rape made against him. 

The appeal hearing is scheduled to take place on 6 September before Judge Naomi Shivute. 

Booys is currently being detained at the Seeis police station.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-07-27  Maria Amakali

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