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NOBODY matching the description of a hospital porter who was claimed to have moved a head-injury patient on the day the patient was allegedly raped at Katutura Intermediate Hospital was found at the health facility.
This was part of the testimony yesterday given by a police officer during the bail hearing of intern doctor Dennis Noa (26), who is charged with having raped an 18-year-old patient at the hospital on 11 April.
Detective warrant officer Esther Kawiwa, who is stationed at the police's Gender-based Violence Protection Unit in Windhoek, told magistrate Esme Molefe she went with Noa “all over the hospital” to see if he could identify the porter that he said had moved a patient from the hospital's head injury ward and later returned the patient to the ward. Nobody matching the description given by Noa could be found, Kawiwa said.
She said they found two female and two male porters who were on duty at the hospital on 11 April, but Noa did not identify any of the male porters as the person to whom he said he had handed over the patient.
Noa also pointed to a shirt worn by a security guard at the hospital and said the porter had worn a shirt like that, Kawiwa said.
She said as a doctor who had been working at the hospital for some eight months, Noa would have been able to differentiate between the uniforms worn by hospital porters and security guards.
She also noted that Noa was the last person seen with the patient before it was discovered that the patient appeared to have been sexually assaulted.
Testifying during his bail hearing in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura earlier this week, Noa (26) said the charge he is facing is false, malicious and defamatory.
He told the magistrate that on 11 April, which was a Sunday, he tried in vain to get hold of a hospital porter to take one of the patients in the head injury ward for occupational therapy. According to Noa, he then decided he would take the patient – an 18-year-old male left unable to speak or move after suffering a brain injury in a car accident – for occupational therapy himself.
He said he first went to a conference room on the same floor of the hospital to collect books and other material which he had left there earlier. When he left the conference room with the patient, he encountered a hospital porter, to whom he handed over the patient, Noa said.
He added that when he later returned to the head injury ward, he again saw the porter with the patient, and because the porter was not moving the patient back to his room he took the patient from the porter and wheeled him back to the room.
Still later, he was called back to the ward, after nursing staff had noticed that the patient appeared to have injuries to his anal area.
Kawiwa said according to witnesses an unused condom was found in the patient's bed after he had been returned to the ward. The patient had been washed before Noa took him from his room, and according to nursing staff he was not injured at that stage, she also said.
Kawiwa said witnesses from whom she has taken statements told her they did not see a porter when Noa took the patient from the ward. Noa was also seen going into the conference room with the patient and closing the door of the room.
A witness told her as well that Noa said he was taking the patient for occupational therapy on a lower floor of the hospital. However, the hospital's occupational therapists do not work over weekends, Kawiwa said.
Noa told the court he had been asked to refer the patient to a private occupational therapist, and he was not aware that occupational therapy was not done at the hospital over weekends.
The court also heard yesterday that according to test results received from a forensic laboratory, human semen was not detected in samples collected from the patient. That could be because the person suspected to have sexually violated the patient could have used a condom, Kawiwa said.
The bail hearing is continuing, with Kawiwa to face questions from defence lawyer James Diedericks today. Public prosecutor Bernadine Bertolini is representing the state.