KEETMANSHOOP - Three suspects who were arrested last weekend in Keetmanshoop for not adhering to the national curfew between 21h00 and 04h00, pleaded guilty in the local magistrate’s court on Monday.
Jose Kgosikomo, Clemmencia Meintjies and Giovannia Engelbrecht had earlier paid bail of N$400 each, and were charged with contravening section 5(2) of the Covid-19 regulations issued in terms of the Public Health and Environmental Act, as well as an additional count of obstructing the police in carrying out their duties, only in respect of Meintjies.
After being informed by magistrate Ilge Rheent of their right to legal representation by appointing a lawyer, applying for legal representation through legal aid or alternatively conducting their own defence, the trio indicated that they would handle their own defence and finalise the matter. They were all convicted according to their pleas.
After presenting mitigating factors, Kgosikomo and Meintjies offered to pay a fine of N$500 each, while Engelbrecht, who is a student, asked the court to be issued with a warning.
The State, while submitting arguments in aggravation, recommended a fine of N$500 for each of the accused, or an alternative of two months imprisonment.
“The accused persons are all first offenders, who took the court into their confidence by pleading guilty at their first appearance without wasting the court’s time,” said Rheent before sentenceing.
She added that the court, in striking a balance between the competing interests in the matter, blending it with a measure of mercy and hoping for a deterrent and rehabilitative effect, decided to sentence all three to a fine of N$500 or 30 days imprisonment, and furthermore sentenced Meintjies to an additional fine of N$500 or 30 days imprisonment.