Ex-MP in Custody On Rape Charges

By Werner Menges

Former Okahandja regional councillor and National Council member Steve Biko Booys was remanded in police custody after making a first court appearance on rape charges yesterday.

Booys (42) made a short appearance before magistrate Kandiwapa Nangombe in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court a day after his arrest on two counts of rape.

In the charges Booys is facing, the state is alleging that he raped a 21-year-old woman at Okahandja on 16 January and also on 17 January. It is also alleged that the complainant was raped while she was affected by intoxicating liquor or a substance that mentally incapacitated her or by sleep.

The magistrate ordered that Boys should remain in custody after public prosecutor Veruka Njembo opposed the granting of bail, due to a fear that Booys would interfere with the investigation of his case if released. Njembo also said it would not be in the public interest or the interest of the administration of justice to have Booys released on bail, as that may send a wrong message to society, taking into account the scale of violence against women in Namibia.

Njembo further said the complainant in the case has made a statement in which she said she was fearing for her safety, which he said was a matter that needed to be investigated.

Defence lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff indicated to the magistrate that Booys would approach the court with an application to be granted bail “when the time is right”. He also asked Nangombe to order that Booys should be detained at Seeis Police Station east of Windhoek, rather than at Okahandja, as Booys is “a politically exposed person” and it is feared that his life might be endangered at his hometown.

Booys’ case was postponed to 8 April for further investigations to be carried out. Nangombe also directed that he should be detained at Seeis Police Station.

Swapo member Booys was the regional councillor of the Okahandja constituency from 2009 until last year’s regional election near the end of November. He also represented the Otjozondjupa region in the National Council from 2015 until he resigned as a member of parliament in March last year to take up the position of Otjozondjupa Regional Council chairperson.

Source: Namibian

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