ONGWEDIVA – A 49-year-old police officer stationed at Unam’s engineering campus in Ongwediva mustered the courage yesterday to talk to New Era about her rape ordeal in the early morning hours of Sunday while walking to work.
The incident happened at around 05h30 at Ongwediva.
According to the police crime report, an unknown suspect found the victim on her way to work. He threatened her with a knife and instructed her to undress.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim, who cannot be named to protect her identity, said she was on her way to work when a middle-aged man, who wore a hat and mask, started following her.
The suspect started making advances on her, which she brushed off, saying he is not her age mate.
He then continued with the small talk whilst following her, and the victim realised she should take a different route because she was becoming uncomfortable with the questions that were being asked by the suspect.
“When I told him that I would take the other route, he aggressively refused and redirected me towards an old, open manhole. I was scared at that point, as I thought he would push me into the manhole. I did not know what his intentions were,” she said.
The suspect then said he would teach her a lesson because police officers put “them” through a lot, and they go around arresting them.
She said it was at that point she deduced he was implying he is a criminal who has grudges against police officers.
She explained the victim instructed her to give her money and her cell phone – to which she responded she did not have money on her but only her cell phone.
“He then said ‘I will sleep with you today’, and then he instructed me to undress and bend backwards while he held a knife. At that point, the only thing I prayed for was my life. I was scared and feared for my life.”
She said when the suspect raped her, he told her to get dressed, and then he returned her cell phone. He told her not to scream or look back, as he would kill her.
“When he ran off, I walked as fast as I could and did not look back. I continued my journey to work”
She said the incident left her so traumatised that she could not even tell her colleagues.
“When I got to work, I could not start narrating what had happened because some of the male colleagues were present, so I called my sister instead to tell her what happened. I did not realise I was crying loudly while talking on the phone; one of my colleagues overheard and asked me what happened,” she said.
“Our commander and the rest of the colleagues were then told the story by my colleague, as I could not utter a word. The commander advised me to report the incident to the police station. I did not have money on me then, so one of my colleagues assisted me with taxi money to go to the police station.”
She said her colleagues at the station then referred her to the hospital for treatment; however, she did not receive counselling on that day but was told to come back the following day.
“Our social worker also visited me at home,” she said.
A neighbour of the victim expressed concern about the area being unsafe.
She said the corner where the incident happened is at the end of the narrow passage between two fences, and it has become a crime hotspot in that area.
“A lot of crimes, especially the grabbing of phones, has been happening in that same area – and it was just about time an incident of that nature happened because we have been requesting the Ongwediva Town Council to close off that passage, as it has become a crime hotspot, and nothing has been done so far,” she added.
She further warned that if the council does not close it off soonest, the residents will take the matter into their own hands.
Approached for comment on the safety of the area, the mayor of Ongwediva Tarah Shalyefu said since he commenced his official duties, there was no complaint addressed to him regarding that issue.
“Maybe the residents have addressed the matter to the previous leadership because it is my first-time hearing about it. I urge them to please approach the CEO or me, and we will take it up from there. The only risky area we were told is between Mweshipandeka Secondary School and Medi Park Clinic – and we have already found solutions on how we will curb crimes in that area,” he explained.
The suspect is not yet arrested, and preliminary investigations continue.
Oshana police spokesperson inspector Thomas Aiyambo said he is not aware whether the victim is part of the police force; however, he added that all public servants receive transport allowance, and they are supposed to utilise it as part of the government policy.
He also said members of the police force have a vehicle that transports them to and from their night shifts.
“Those working on night shifts are always picked up to and from their houses for security purposes,” he added.
The victim said she has been walking to work for the past two years since their police car broke down.
Caption: No picture