WINDHOEK – The prosecutor general has decided to prosecute a former Windhoek-based public prosecutor, alongside 20 other people, for the witness fees scam that saw the Office of the Judiciary lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ivan Victory Tjizu was arrested in 2016 following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with fees totaling N$410 000 that were allegedly paid out fraudulently at the time he was stationed as a public prosecutor at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
Added to the list of accused persons are Desmond Ngutjinazo, Eino Kombanda, Sackaria Mweendeleli, Paulus Fillemon, Today Amoomo, Oiva Kanime, Andrew Masipa, Kamaatu Kuuoko, Sam Shafaiixuna Haiduwa, Dave Amalwa, Benjamen Amoomo, Gabriel Iikela Usko, Festus Mweendeleli, Alvin Kuutondokwa, Leonard Ndjoze, Pendukeni Shikongo, Michael Namene, Isai Nathanael, Martin Nepando and Roy Rose.
According to state prosecutor Pieter Smit, the 20 new accused will be summoned to stand trial next year in the Windhoek Regional Court alongside Tjizu.
The group will be standing trial on 137 counts of corruption under the ACC Act. The charges range from fraud to managing an enterprise conducted through a pattern of racketeering activities, corruptly giving a false document containing false statements to an agent, conducting an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities and money laundering.
According to the prosecution, while Tjizu was working for the office of the prosecutor general in Windhoek he conspired with his co-accused in scamming N$410 000 from the Office of the Judiciary through paid-out witness fees.
It is alleged that the group fraudulently worked together with a web of people in claiming witness fees for people who allegedly travelled from outside Windhoek and were arranged to pose as state witnesses.
As a prosecutor at the time, Tjizu would allegedly misrepresent the witnesses to the presiding magistrate and as a result witness fees were falsely claimed and paid out. Once witness fees had been allegedly paid out to people who were arranged to pose as witnesses, the money would then be shared.