OSHAKATI – Four pending cases in the Okahao, Outapi, Ondangwa and Opuwo courts, which were presided over by magistrate Alvin Simpson, will have to start afresh before a new magistrate.
New Era understands the Magistrate Commission and the concerned magistrate failed to reach consensus on a salary agreement. Simpson’s contract is said to have expired in May last year. All cases involving the magistrate were consequently transferred back to the various courts.
“The matter is being transferred back to Outapi to start afresh before a new magistrate,” said state prosecutor Nelao Ya France in the regional court yesterday.
Ya France told the court the magistrate who partly heard the cases is no longer employed by the Magistrate Commission.
New Era last month wrote that although Simpson was expected to have been sitting at the Oshakati Regional Court to finish off his cases for a three-month period from September, he allegedly refused the package he was offered.
“The judiciary had approached him to see if he could come on 1 September, but he did not show up. We are still waiting for him,” magistrate Lazarus Amutse said at the time.
The cases which have allegedly been on the roll as far back as 2005 will have to start afresh and the accused persons are only expected to make their first appearance on the date which their cases have been postponed to.
The cases are of a serious nature ranging from rape to robbery, aggravated robbery and housebreaking.
During the previous court hearing suspects complained of travelling costs, citing that the issue of the unavailability of the magistrate has been dragging on for far too long.