WINDHOEK - The trial of 15 men and a woman who were arrested in 2014 accused of possessing fake qualifications attained from bogus colleges in Zimbabwe has been stood down for now.
This came to light yesterday when the group made an appearance before Magistrate Samunzala Samunzala in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. Although the case was on the court roll for a plea and trial, such could not proceed as some of the accused appeared in court without any legal representation for their scheduled trial proceedings.
Furthermore, some legal representatives failed to obtained disclosure from the State as agreed. The court consequently postponed the matter for such to October 19.
The accused are Regina Nelumbu, Josephina Iita, Benedictus Stephanus, Eliah Kaiko, David Ndemusunye Shivinga, Monica Itengula, Paulus Ndara, Goerge Mbanze Sikerete, Samuel Samuel Sem, Lineekela Nghaanekwa, Fillemon Jatileni, Elmo Matias, Martha Kolutu Etuhole Mwandjekange, Neliwa Miina Ndapewashali and Gregor Mbanze Sikerete.
The prosecution is charging Nelumbu and her co-accused with multiple counts of forgery and fraud. The charges emanate from the allegations that some of the accused used their fake qualifications to gain admission to institutions of higher learning such as the University of Namibia, College of the Arts and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The accused allegedly used their fake qualifications in gaining training admission and potential employment into the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and City Police.
Nelumbu and her co-accused were arrested in October 2014 following a tip-off from Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) management.
Thirty-three people were initially arrested in connection with the fake qualification scandal, but only 15 accused will now be standing trial after charges were withdrawn against 18 suspects. Nelumbu and her co-accused are free on bail ranging between N$1,000 and N$5,000 respectively and their bail has been extended until their next scheduled appearance in court.