Accused Damases acquire legal representation

WINDHOEK; Windhoek resident Sarah Damases, who was arrested in June 2012 on corruption charges, has acquired legal representation.

Senior Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Advocate Gerson Hinda (SC-senior counsel) is now representing the 49-year-old Damases, who is appearing alongside prominent local lawyer Dirk Conradie on corruption charges.

Hinda is appearing for Damases on the instructions of fellow Windhoek-based defence lawyer James Diedericks.

This came to light when the two accused persons’ alleged corruption trial, which was delayed for the past two weeks, finally kicked-off before Acting High Court Judge Thomas Masuku here on Thursday morning.

Hinda on Thursday informed the court that his client will join Conradie in an application of special plea of jurisdiction in which the two accused persons are challenging the legality of the evidence of certain illegal recordings of meetings that took place between them and some police investigating officers.

The hearing in connection with the special plea of jurisdiction also started on Thursday morning, with Conradie’s defence lawyer, South African Senior Counsel Vas Soni, presenting his heads of arguments before court.

On 20 April this year, Damases was left with no legal representation following a decision taken by Soni who opted to represent only Conradie.

Soni is instructed by Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Slysken Makando to represent the 53-year-old Conradie.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze is appearing for the State.

This trial is set to run until 15 May 2015.

The two accused are each free on a warning.

Conradie and Damases were arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of corruption in connection with a N.dollars 60 million-advertisement contract for Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), on whose board Conradie served as chairperson at the time.

Damases is accused of allegedly “conspiring with Conradie to commit an offence”.

ACC Deputy Director Erna van der Merwe earlier said Conradie allegedly “corruptly solicited gratification as an inducement or reward for giving assistance or using his influence in the promotion or procurement of a contract with MTC for the provision of advertising services”.

Conradie had represented several people in high-profile court cases in Namibia.

He also serves on various influential national positions and boards, including the Lands Tribunal.