The retired Education Director for the Zambezi Region, Innocent Mahoto, who stands accused of raping a minor and human trafficking, was granted bail by Katima Mulilo Magistrate Davy Kambinda on Friday.

The incident came to light through the police suggestion box: he impregnated a 15-year-old Zambian girl whose parents worked for him.

His lawyer, Bernard Tjatjara, submitted an urgent application for bail when his client made his first court appearance a week ago.

Though the state objected to the granting of bail to Mahoto, no submissions were presented on record at first appearance.

The prosecutor indicated that he was only assigned to postpone the case while the control prosecutor has yet to assign it to a designated prosecutor.

Tjatjara argued that his client was of an advanced age and suffers from cancer and high blood pressure, adding that the police cells are not conducive to the management of his medication.

The lawyer further argued that his client had no family ties outside Namibia and would comply with all bail conditions imposed if granted bail.

An additional charge of human trafficking was added to the charge of rape.

The investigating officer feared that the accused could interfere with investigations and witnesses if granted bail, and he was facing a serious offence.

Before the start of state submission, the state brought in an application for the Presiding Magistrate Davy Kambinda to recuse himself from the proceedings.

Cedrick Mundia, supported by the Control Prosecutor, Brunah Mukowa, argued that the Court did not grant the state sufficient time to defend the case from the start of the bail hearing application.

On Friday, the state argued in support of their witness that Mohoto would interfere with investigations and witnesses and that it would not be in the interest of justice or the public interest to grant him bail.

At the end of the arguments and submissions from both the state and defence, the defendant was granted bail of N$10,000 with reporting conditions, including not contacting the victim directly or indirectly and not leaving the Katima Mulilo district without informing the investigation officer.

The case has been postponed to August 2 for further investigations.





Sililo Mubiana