WINDHOEK - The fate of the minister of education Katrina Hanse-Himarwa now hangs in the balance as the court braces itself to either convict or let her go free after her trial was concluded yesterday in Windhoek High Court.
Judge Christie Liebenberg is expected to deliver judgement in the matter on July 8. Hanse-Himarwa, 51, who maintained her jovial mood throughout the trial, has been facing charges of corruptly using her former office as Hardap governor to obtain a gratification for herself or someone else.
The charge stems from allegations that at the time while she was governor of Hardap Region, made changes to the mass housing project list of beneficiaries in Mariental. It is alleged that the minister who is a Swapo member, replaced the names of opposition supporters with that of her relatives.
The alleged incident took place in December 2014. Concluding his oral arguments in court yesterday, Hanse-Himarwa’s defense counsel Sisa Namandje noted that this is merely a political assassination of his client.
Namandje explained that, like in other states, politicians use the criminal justice system to eliminate their rivals.
Namandje emphasised there were serious irregularities in the way the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) conducted its investigations against the minister. “There was massive manipulation. This is a spoilt trial where all state witnesses were manipulated. It would not be wise for this court to rely on them. That is why the accused person should be acquitted,” said Namandje during submissions.
Namandje argued that there are strong similarities found in the witness statements that state witnesses worked in unison and hand-in-hand with the ACC investigators to incriminate the minister. On Tuesday, the state called for the court to convict Hanse-Himarwa. According to deputy prosecutor-general Ed Marondedze, there is strong evidence before court that Hanse-Himarwa did indeed tamper with the list of beneficiaries for the mass housing project in December 2014.
2019-05-23 08:21:45 3 months ago