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Gang rape convict’s sentence halved

2022-05-19  Maria Amakali

Gang rape convict’s sentence halved
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Another gang rape convict, who was serving 60 years imprisonment, had his sentence halved to 30 years after a lower court bungled his sentencing.

Michael Gawiseb appealed his conviction and sentence in the High Court, citing the Otjiwarongo Regional Court erred when it convicted him and sentenced him to 60-years behind bars.

Earlier this week, this paper reported the Oshakati High Court set aside the convictions and 20-year imprisonment sentences of three youths – one a minor then – on charges of raping a mentally challenged girl in Outapi. 

Acting judges Eduard Kesslau and David Munsu, who heard the appeals, lamented the delays in that appeal and said apart from the incomprehensible record, there are also obvious procedural errors. 

In Gawiseb’s case, appeal judges Herman January and Dinah Usiku said they concurred with the trial court when it convicted Gawiseb on four counts of rape, a charge of assault to inflict grievous bodily harm and assault by threat. 

However, individual punishments were not inappropriate in his case.

Thus, the court ordered a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment imposed on each of the three charges of rape should be served concurrently. 

While the sentence of 15-years on the fourth charge of rape, alongside the two counts of assault, should also be served concurrently – giving Gawised an effective sentence of 30 years.

Gawiseb was convicted alongside his co-accused, Moses Pieters, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence.

The court accepted the version of the victim, a 37-year-old woman.

During the trial, the victim testified that on 14 November 2010, in the area of Otavi, Gawiseb and Pieters grabbed and assaulted her. 

The assault resulted in the victim sustaining injuries to the head and multiple wounds all over her body.

Gawiseb instructed Pieters to hold the victim down as he raped her. 

After he was done, he instructed Pieters to rape her too. 

They thereafter dragged her to a toilet and again took turns to sexually violate her. 

They took her to a service station, where they wanted to eat. 

The co-accused in the meantime disappeared. 

The victim reported the incidents of rape to a security guard. 

However, while the victim was busy speaking to the security guard, Gawised returned and pulled her away, and took her to the side of a railway line. 

He took out a knife, threatened to kill her, and thereafter raped her for the third time.

Although having partially won his appeal, Gawiseb has expressed he will be appealing his case in the Supreme Court, as he denies having committed the offences.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-05-19  Maria Amakali

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