Twist in indecent assault case
17 September 2018 | Justice
The indecent assault case against Leroy Henry Kruger, a Swakopmund-based estate agent, was postponed to 19 November for plea and trial.
Magistrate John Sindano revoked the arrest warrant issued against Kruger. Sindano further ordered that there should be no contact between the parties pending the finalisation of the matter. This follows after allegations of interference surfaced.
“There are now serious and damning allegations on record in a public court so direct or indirect contact with the complainant is not allowed.”
The accused’s legal representative, Marinus Scholtz, informed the court that the complainant had filed a withdrawal statement and requested the accused not to be at court since the case was going to be withdrawn.
Prosecutor Sylvia Kauluma told the court that the investigating officer had no knowledge of the withdrawal statement and was unaware of the arrangement between the two parties.
“We… learned that the accused and his legal representative… met with the complainant, influenced him and offered him N$7 550. Under duress they informed him that he will go to prison and they will go and open a case against him. Therefore the withdrawal statement that was filled is null and void.”
Kauluma added that the complainant does not understand Afrikaans or English.
“The state believes that what transpired actually relates to hindrance and defeating the course of justice, and wishes to proceed with this matter. The complainant and his family also want to do so.”
Scholtz challenged the state to prove everything stated before the court. He vehemently denied that neither he nor his client at any stage influenced or forced the complainant to do anything which he did not understand.
“We had an Oshiwambo interpreter present and the mother of the complainant was also there. The settlement agreement was read back to him in his own language and he signed it thereafter.”
Scholtz referred to the withdrawal statement handed into at the court on 22 August and said the complainant was fully aware of the situation.
“In it, the complainant stated that he withdrew the charge out of his own free will without being influenced by anyone. In light of this we reserve our right to challenge the state for libel.”
“Also if the complainant is saying he was forced to do something he is obviously repudiating the settlement agreement. We need him to put it on terms and as such claim back the N$7 550 he received for this matter not to be made public.”
According to Scholtz the specifics of settling the matter was because of the social status of the accused.
“He is an estate agent and did not want his name to appear in the newspapers. We will press charges against the complainant for having lied under oath and bring a civil charge as well,” said Scholtz.
Sindano ordered that the indecent assault case should be separated from the allegations of interference.
According to the charge sheet Kruger wrongfully, indecently and lasciviously assaulted a 29-year-old man who resides at NamWater Camp near Rooibank by forcefully touching his private parts without his consent.
The incident allegedly occurred in a vehicle driven by Kruger on 6 May en route to the residence of the complainant.