HIV-Rape Trial Takes a Break
March 24, 2003
Posted to the web March 24, 2003
THE High Court's first trial under the
Combating of Rape Act in which a suspect faces the allegation
that he knew he was carrying the AIDS virus when he raped a
woman is set to continue early next month.
The trial before Judge Elton Hoff was
postponed to April 8 on Wednesday.
Earlier that day a nurse disputed a
claim by one of the two suspects that he and his alleged
victim had gone together for HIV tests before the alleged
The 38-year-old suspect and his
21-year-old brother face a charge of rape under the Combating
of Rape Act of 2000, and a count of kidnapping.
It is claimed that the older brother
tested HIV positive shortly before the alleged rape of the
woman at a farm in the Omaruru district on December 5 2001.
She told the court last week that the
two brothers arrived at the farm where she and her husband
were staying on that day, that the older brother told her that
a nurse at a clinic in a village in the vicinity wanted to see
her in connection with an illness she had passed on to him,
and that he then forced her to accompany them.
They stayed over at his home that
evening, where he raped her three times during the night, she
However, according to the suspects'
defence lawyer, Tousy Namiseb, the older brother claims that
while they slept at the same place that evening, they did not
have sexual intercourse.
He also claims that he went to fetch the
woman because they had to make a follow-up visit to a clinic
where they had gone for HIV tests.
The woman denied this version of events.
On Wednesday, registered nurse Martha
Doeses also denied that the suspect and his alleged victim had
been together at the clinic to be tested for the AIDS virus.
She told Judge Hoff that she drew blood
from the man on November 19 2001 for an HIV test.
He did not return to hear of the test
results before December 5 that year, she stated, in a part of
her testimony that could prove to be vitally important for the
In terms of the Combating of Rape Act, a
person infected with a serious sexually transmitted disease
faces a higher mandatory sentence if convicted of rape if it
is shown that he knew of his infection when he committed the
According to Doeses, she relayed the
test result, which showed that the suspect had tested
positive, to him only on January 18 2002, when she went to see
him in Police custody to inform him of the test result.
According to the AIDS testing
guidelines, an initial positive test result must be followed
by a second test to confirm the patient's identity and the
test result, the court heard.
In this suspect's case this was never
The older brother remains in custody
until the trial resumes.
His younger brother, who has been
charged based on allegations that he assisted his brother, is
free on bail.
Public Prosecutor Sharon Blaauw is
representing the State.