IN THE DOCK ... Accused Tuu lwa Ndawina Jonas (32) is expected in court today on charges of human trafficking.
THE trial of a woman accused of the trafficking of a minor for sexual exploitation at Okahandja is expected to kick off in the High Court today.
Initially, the trial was scheduled to begin on 7 May 2018, but was put on hold until 4 June because the victim and some state witnesses were uncomfortable testifying in court around the accused.
It came to light in court last month that the victim and other state witnesses are all related to accused Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas, and they thus asked the prosecuting authority to handle the proceedings of the trial in the victim-friendly courtroom, in which vulnerable state witnesses can feel free to give their testimony.
As a result of this, the case was postponed to today to allow the state to make arrangements for the victim-friendly courtroom.
The trial is only set to run until 14 June 2018, with High Court Judge Naomi Shivute to preside.
Jonas allegedly lured the girl, who was 15 years at the time, from the Okahenge village in the Omusati region to Okahandja in 2017 with empty promises of employment.
It is reported that the girl, after hearing of the job opportunity, left school in the Omusati region and travelled to Okahandja.
The state alleges that Jonas, along with a certain John Puariune, forced the girl to move in with them, and that Jonas forced her to have sex with Puariune on several occasions as payment for the N$200 bus fare from northern Namibia to Okahandja.
After two months, the State alleges, Jonas took the girl to another house, but she refused to stay there, and was taken to a third man to live with.
She did so as she allegedly had no other choice, the state alleges.
Furthermore, the state alleges that the girl, still being a minor, was not just a victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, but was also made pregnant during the ordeal.
Jonas remains in custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station holding cells until the start of her trial today.
State advocate Felisitas Shikerete-Vendura is prosecuting, while government-funded defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht is representing the accused.