WINDHOEK – The office of the prosecutor general is yet to pronounce itself in the case of two former employees of the Namibian Sports Commission (NSC).
The duo stands accused of misappropriating N$4.9 million from the commission’s coffers.
Appearing before Magistrate Olga Likando in the Windhoek Magistrates’ Court last week, Ivonne Nande (35), and her co-accused Walter Haseb (46), were informed that the prosecutor general has not yet reached a decision in their case. The court subsequently gave a final remand.
During the proceedings, the court granted the request by Haseb’s defense attorney Immanuel Udjombala to have his (Haseb’s) reporting conditions amended. Haseb will now be reporting himself to the police in Groot Aub instead of Okahandja as per original bail conditions.
Haseb, who was employed as the commission’s acting chief administrator, together with Nande, a development officer at NSC, was arrested in July 2017 by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for allegedly stealing N$4,965,542.75 from the commission’s funds.
The prosecution is charging Nande and Haseb with a count of corruptly using an office for gratification and an alternative charge of theft, charges the two have denied. The charges emanate from 30 cheques that were issued for the benefit of different sports associations. However, according to the internal auditor from the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture, who testified during the bail application proceedings, although the cheques were written to benefit different sports associations, they never reached their intended recipients.
During the bail hearing, Nande, who is accused of cashing 26 of 30 cheques worth over N$2 million in monies, has denied pocketing the money. In her defense, she argued that she handed all the funds over to Haseb.
Haseb, in turn, refuted Nande’s version, stating that although he had signed off on all the cheques, he had no idea where the money went. At the time, he never received funds from Nande after she cashed the cheques, he said.
According to the ministry’s internal auditor, there is no record of where the money went or to whom it was handed thereafter.
Nande and Haseb are expected to return to court on November 16 after the court postponed their case for the prosecutor general’s decision. The court extended their N$40,000 bail.