Woman apologises for exploiting young girl

Woman apologises for exploiting young girl

A woman found guilty of human trafficking earlier this year after luring a young girl to Okahandja where she exploited her sexually, on Wednesday extended a tearful apology to the victim and her family.
Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas is also related to the victim, who was aged 15 in 2017 when the incident occurred.
The 34-year-old Jonas was on 31 July 2019 found guilty by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on three counts of rape and three counts of trafficking in persons for luring the girl from Okahenge village in the Omusati Region to Okahandja.
The girl dropped out of school to go to Okahandja after Jonas convinced her to do so with promises of employment.
Jonas made the tearful apology to her victim’s relatives when she gave evidence in mitigation of sentencing.
“I have really broken a lot of people’s hearts as a result of my wrongful actions. What I did to the complainant is not good, I’m wholeheartedly sorry for what I did to the complainant,” an emotional Jonas said.
She further told the court she regretted causing the complainant to leave school, and she also appealed to the court not to impose a long prison sentence on her, as such would destroy her chances of rehabilitation.
Jonas had initially denied involvement in the matter on 23 April 2019 when she entered ‘not guilty’ pleas to the charges against her.
She, however, admitted that she was in northern Namibia for a month, visiting family at Okahenge, where she met the complainant. She denied telling the complainant to leave school and to instead come to her farm in the Okahandja area and stay there with her.
The girl had alleged that she was forced to move in with a man and have sexual intercourse with him on several occasions in payment for the N$200 fee used for the payment of her transport from northern Namibia.
She allegedly fell pregnant as a result of the sexual exploitation during her stay at the farm.
Jonas remains in police custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, with no option to post bail.
State Advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura is representing the prosecution, while Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht is appearing for Jonas.
Jonas returns to the High Court on Thursday for cross-examination by the State's representative in respect of her evidence in mitigation of sentencing.