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Rape convict fails in appeal bid 

2021-12-01  Maria Amakali

Rape convict fails in appeal bid 
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The Windhoek High Court has dismissed an application in which a gang-rape convict sought leave to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court. 

Judge Claudia Claasen yesterday dismissed Chris van Wyk’s application for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court. 

The court also removed the matter from the court’s roll and deemed it finalised.

Handing down the order, Claasen said the reasons will be made available at a later stage. 

Van Wyk, who was only convicted on one of the three counts of rape, claimed the court convicted him without a witness to attest to the alleged sexual act. 

During oral submissions, his lawyer Kalundu Kamwi argued the State failed to call witnesses or a witness who can confirm that the sexual act occurred. 

He further noted the sexual act described by the State does not meet the requirements as stipulated in the Rape Act. 

It was their stance that if another court is presented with these facts, it will reach a different conclusion than the one reached by the High Court. 

Van Wyk was convicted of having raped a 30-year-old woman at Swakopmund on 1 November 2015. 

The victim, however, died before the trial started.

Prosecution led by Dominic Lisulo opposed the application, saying the State had a strong prima facie case against him – and as such, he was convicted.

During trial, Van Wyk, through his then-lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji, said he knew the complainant from before the incident, and they were together at a shebeen in Mondesa. 

He further said the complainant agreed to have sexual intercourse with him, and they went to the toilet to do the deed. 

However, he said, due to the fact that they had no protection, and there were a lot of people knocking on the door, wanting to use the bathroom, they abandoned the idea of having intercourse at the shebeen and instead decided to go home. 

On their way home, he said, they were accosted by four men – unknown to him – and one of the men asked the complainant who he was, and she answered that he is her brother. 

 An altercation then ensued in the process, causing him to sustain an open wound on his head, and his cell phone was stolen, he claims. 

While they were busy with the altercation, the police arrived at the scene, and the four men managed to escape, according to Van Wyk. 

He added that at that stage, he was sitting on the ground next to the complainant, and was not on top of her as one of the witnesses claimed. 

He went on to say he was surprised when the police manhandled and arrested him when he is a victim of assault and robbery. 

His version was dismissed by the court.



2021-12-01  Maria Amakali

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