After spending seven grueling months behind bars Mathew Bowora, the principal of Kleine Kuppe Private School in Ongwediva, who is charged with rape, posted bail of N$10 000 to secure his freedom.
The Zimbabwean-born Bowora was jailed in October last year after he was accused of raping a learner in a classroom at Kleine Kuppe Private School, when no one else was on the premises. His Oshakati-based legal representative, Grace Mughaviri, daughter of the owner of the Kleine Kuppe school, has since his arrest in October last year been trying in vain to get him released.
Bowora (40), who is married, finally tasted freedom when he was granted bail in Ondangwa Magistrates Court on June 5. It is not clear why his bail application was heard in Ondangwa Magistrates Court, instead of Oshakati where the incident took place and where the case has been heard since his arrest.
Police Deputy Commissioner, Sydney Philander, who heads crime investigation in the Oshana Region, confirmed Bowora’s release but could not explain why the matter was shifted to Ondangwa for the bail application. Instead, he referred Informanté to the court officials. Philander however indicated that the accused will again appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate Court on 19 June.
Lydia Hangula, the Control Prosecutor at Ondangwa Magistrate Court, said she has no idea why the case was heard at Ondangwa, because the transfer should have happened on the request of Oshakati prosecution. Oshakati Magistrate Court Control Prosecutor, Phillip Brink, told Informanté that he did not order the matter to be heard outside the area of jurisdiction. Brink referred Informanté to Advocate Luscious Mwatota, the Deputy Prosecutor-General at Oshakati High Court, who denied any involvement in the matter. “I know this matter as a Lower Court case, but I have no idea why it was heard in Ondangwa. Maybe you can find out from the prosecutors in the Lower Court in Oshakati and Ondangwa,” he suggested.
Local people suspect that the matter was shifted to Ondangwa as a clever way to shield the accused from public view, including the media. The allegations against Bowora had sent shock waves through the community and prompted Education Minister, Abraham Iyambo, to join the chorus of condemnation against Bowora’s alleged wrongdoing.
The Minister was quoted as saying: “If proven to be true and that so-called school principal is found guilty, that man will never put his foot in a classroom of any school in Namibia again because he has tarnished the great profession of teaching.”