WINDHOEK, 03 JUN – The trial of a woman accused of the trafficking of a minor for sexual exploitation at Okahandja, is expected to kick off in the High Court here on Monday.
Initially, the trial was scheduled to begin on 07 May 2018, but it was put on hold until 04 June because the victim and some State witnesses were uncomfortable testifying in court around the accused.
It came to light in court last month that the victim and other State witnesses are all related to accused Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas and they thus asked the prosecuting authority to handle the proceedings of the trial in the victim-friendly courtroom, in which vulnerable State witnesses can feel free to give their testimony.
As a result of this, the case was postponed to 04 June to allow the State to make arrangements for the victim-friendly courtroom.
The trial is only set to run until 14 June 2018.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute will preside over the case.
Accused Jonas allegedly lured the girl, who was 15 years old at the time, from the Okahenge village in the Omusati Region to Okahandja in 2017 with empty promises of employment.
It is reported that the girl, after hearing of the job opportunity, left school in the Omusati Region and went to Okahandja.
The State alleges that Jonas, along with a certain John Puariune, forced the girl to move in with them and that Jonas forced her to have sex with Puariune on several occasions as payment for the N.dollars 200 fee for the bus from northern Namibia to Okahandja.
After two months, the State alleges, Jonas took the girl to another house but she refused to stay there and was taken to a third man to live with.
She did so as she allegedly had no other choice, the State alleges.
Furthermore, the State alleges, the girl, still being a minor, was not just a victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation but was also impregnated during the ordeal.
Jonas remains in custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station holding cells until the start of her trial on Monday.
State Advocate Felisitas Shikerete-Vendura is appearing for the State, while government-funded defense lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht is defending the accused.