Publication: Weekend Argus Issued: Date: 2004-10-30 Reporter: Hanti Otto

Rape Suspect Arrested After Namibia Lifts his Immunity



Weekend Argus

Date 2004-10-30


Hanti Otto

Web Link


The Namibian resident accused of attacking and attempting to rape a former member of the National Prosecuting Authority was arrested yesterday, only hours after the Namibian Government waived his diplomatic immunity.

The 20-year-old suspect will be kept at a Pretoria police station until his court appearance on Monday.

Sunnyside detectives arrested him at the Namibian High Commission where he had been living at the premises of the High Commissioner while the issue of his diplomatic indemnity was sorted out.

The suspect, who cannot be named as he has not pleaded yet to the sex charges against him, was first arrested on October 13.

Former advocate Gerda Ferreira, who used to work closely with Scorpion investigators and led the investigation against Schabir Shaik before she resigned, woke up early that morning in her Sunnyside townhouse with a man on top of her.

The attacker apparently forced her to sign cheques in his name and to transfer money to an account via the internet.

During her more than three hour ordeal, she was allegedly threatened with a knife and the man apparently twice tried to rape her. After he had tied her up, she managed to escape through a window and raised alarm.

When Sunnyside police arrived, the accused came out of his home. Ferreira identified her Namibian neighbour as her attacker.

He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on charges of attempted rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking. However, only days after his first appearance, he was back in court.

State advocate Elbie Leonard then explained that the accused has diplomatic immunity and asked that the case be removed from the court roll.

Yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the Namibian Government had agreed to waive the suspect's diplomatic immunity, adding that "this decision thus opens the door for prosecution".

With acknowledgements to Hanti Otto and the Weekend Argus.