Minister of Women's Empowerment and the Family, Marie-Thérèse Abena Ondoua (photo), stated on January 26, following anonymous accusations of a sexual assailant in Douala. Ondoua expressed satisfaction with the judicial authorities’ decision to consider an investigation into the matter, which she said underscores the recurring issue of violence against women and children.
While the case is pending, Ondoua pledged her administration’s support to the complainants, particularly through counselling and psychosocial assistance. She also urged all victims to speak out to break the cycle of violence and provide the necessary information for the judicial authorities to establish the facts.
Ondoua’s statement is the government’s first official response to the Bopda case, which has generated significant discussion, especially on social media. Online, users have expressed surprise at the government’s silence and inaction following numerous anonymous accusations against the son of a prominent economic operator in Douala’s high society.
The accused man faces allegations of sexual assault, kidnapping, rape, harassment, and firearm threats. Ondoua noted that some complainants have claimed that the man is HIV-positive and is spreading the virus among women and children, particularly young boys.
Currently, the absence of formal complaints is impeding the launch of an investigation. However, lawyers argue that Article 135 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which qualifies a written or verbal statement from the injured party as a complaint, is sufficient to initiate legal proceedings. Aside from Ondoua, no other authority has officially commented on this case.