• February 23rd, 2020

Lawyer’s absence delays Conradie trial 



The unavailability of Vas Soni, the senior counsel representing prominent Windhoek lawyer Dirk Conradie and his long-time friend Sara Ngenohani Damases slightly delayed the resumption of their high profile corruption trial in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Thomas Masuku.

Slysken Makando who appeared on behalf of Conradie informed the court that Soni will unfortunately be unavailable for yesterday and today due to unforeseen circumstances, but will be available tomorrow and asked the court’s indulgence to remand the matter. Judge Masuku granted the application after the State and Vetu Uanivi who is representing Damases raised no objections. The matter was remanded to tomorrow at 09h00.

The trial stopped last year after Kim Fields, the partner of Mark Bongers who taped a conversation he had with Conradie, faced cross-examination from Soni on behalf of Conradie. It is uncertain at this stage who the next State witness will be as State prosecutor Ed Marondedze who lead the prosecution team with Salomom Kanyemba assisting, is playing his cards very close to his chest. Conradie and Damases face three counts of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act for allegedly attempting to bribe Bongers and his wife and business partner Fields with a massive advertising contract from MTC if they took Damases on board as a BEE partner. Bongers made a recording of a meeting he and Fields had with Conradie and Damases in the office of Conradie on 12 June 2012 and subsequently reported the alleged bribe to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). In the recordings, Conradie can be heard asking Bongers and his business and life partner, Fields, whether they have a BEE partner and when Bongers answered in the negative saying that he can provide them with one, Conradie can be heard saying that DV8 Saatchi and Saatchi, the company of Bongers and Fields, is not the favourite to win the MTC advertising contract worth an estimated N$60 million at the time, but he could apparently change it in their favour. The meeting apparently took place after Damases approached Bongers at his office with a “message from the MTC chairman”.

According to Fields and Bongers, they only agreed to the meeting out of curiosity and because Damases introduced herself as the wife of Judge President Petrus Damaseb and as an independent consultant for MTC. Conradie allegedly told Bongers during the meeting that he would use his position as chair of the MTC board to ensure that the advertising agency owned by Bongers and Fields gets the telecommunication giant’s N$60 million advertising tender in turn for them taking Damases on board as a black economic empowerment (BEE) equity in their company.  They were arrested in June 2012 after Bongers and Fields allegedly availed a tape recording of Conradie, allegedly soliciting a bribe from them, to the ACC.  Conradie and Damases are free on bail. – rrouth@nepc.com.na


Roland Routh
2020-02-11 06:46:26 | 12 days ago

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