Henties murder, rape accused denied bail

Namibia, March 2017

A YOUNG man awaiting trial in the Windhoek High Court on charges of murder, rape and housebreaking could be a danger to society if released on bail, a judge found when dismissing an application for bail yesterday.

Judge Christie Liebenberg dismissed Jandre Jacques de Klerk’s request for bail after finding that it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice to allow him out of custody pending the finalisation of his trial.

De Klerk (27) has been in custody since October 2014.

He is due to stand trial in the Windhoek High Court on a charge of rape and housebreaking with intent to rape, dating from June 2013, and a charge of murder and two counts of rape, dating from May 2014.

De Klerk told the judge during his bail hearing last week that he would deny guilt on all of the charges when he goes on trial. However, when confronted with evidence that allegedly incriminates him, he retreated behind his right to remain silent.

The state alleges that De Klerk entered a shack at Henties Bay during the night of 14 to 15 June 2013, got into a bed where a woman lay sleeping, and raped her. He allegedly left behind his underwear when he fled the scene after the woman woke up.

De Klerk was granted bail after his arrest in connection with that incident.

The prosecution alleges that while he was free on bail, he raped and murdered a 13-year-old girl, Rachel Vanessa Boois, at a half-built house at Henties Bay during the night of 3 to 4 May 2014.

Boois was killed by being suffocated, and her neck was also broken after she had died, the state charges.

The murder of Boois remained an unsolved crime for nine months, until the results of DNA analyses linked De Klerk to the crime scene and to Boois’ body, leading to his arrest in February 2015.

At the time of his arrest on the murder charge, De Klerk was detained in the police cells at Henties Bay in connection with an assault on his girlfriend in October 2014.

Judge Liebenberg stated in his bail judgement that it was evident to the court that Boois had died a brutal and horrific death.

With the prosecution in possession of evidence implicating De Klerk, he would likely be sentenced to long prison terms if convicted at his eventual trial, judge Liebenberg noted. He added that considering that De Klerk allegedly committed the murder and second rape while on bail on the first rape charge, he could be a danger to society.

De Klerk’s claims of innocence and denials that he would abscond if released on bail were not very reassuring, the judge said.

De Klerk, who has to make his next pre-trial appearance in the High Court on 23 March, was represented by Titus Mbaeva, instructed by the Directorate of Legal Aid, during the bail hearing. Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef represented the state.