WINDHOEK – The trial of former minister of education Katrina Hanse-Himarwa will resume today with pre-sentencing procedures before Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Hanse-Himarwa was earlier this month convicted by Judge Liebenberg on a charge of corruptly using her office for gratification.
The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of N$500 000 or 25 years imprisonment, or both.
The judge extended the warning of Hanse-Himarwa, shooting down a last-minute attempt by the State to have her locked up after her conviction, pending sentencing.
Hanse-Himarwa, dubbed a ‘liar’ in the court’s judgment, has since resigned from her job as minister. She did not formally resign from her seat in the National Assembly.
The ex-minister was convicted of corruptly changing a list of beneficiaries for the Mariental mass housing scheme in December 16, 2014.
In his ruling, Judge Liebenberg said that it was duly established that Hanse-Himarwa, during her reign as governor of the Hardap Region, clearly abused her powers and authority vested in her office when she insisted that the list of beneficiaries under the mass housing development programme be amended to her satisfaction, thereby ensuring that at least one of her family members benefited directly from her actions.
Hanse-Himarwa was charged with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act for removing two names from the original list and replacing them with the names of her family members.
The family members were a niece, Justine Josephine Gowases, and her sister-in-law Christiana Lorraine Hanse.
During the trial it was stated that this was done for the sole reason that the intended beneficiaries were members of opposition parties.
Regina Kulman and Piet Fransman, the two removed beneficiaries, were given houses at the next round of hand-overs.
Hanse-Himarwa denied the allegations at the start of her trial and maintained that the charges were the result of a witch-hunt against her by the ACC.
Judge Liebenberg however said there can be no doubt that Hanse-Himarwa wrongfully used her position and office to overrule the final list of beneficiaries and effected the changes ultimately made to the list.
Hanse-Himarwa is represented by Sisa Namandje and the State by Advocate Ed Marondedze, assisted by Advocate Salomon Kanyemba.
The pre-sentencing proceedings are set to continue until Friday and Hanse-Himarwa remains free on a
2019-07-24 10:10:50 28 days ago