Bearded man” threatens Avid fraud case lawyer

WINDHOEK: Defence Lawyer Jan Wessels was nearly assaulted by member of the public after the court had adjourned in the N.dollars 30 million Avid Investment Asset Management Company and Social Security Commission (SCC) fraud trial.

Wessels who confirmed the incident to the court today when he was asked about it by Judge Christi Liebenberg said a “bearded man” who seemed to have been possessed with rage approached him looking at no one else.

He said he assumed that the man is the late Lazarus Kandara’s brother.

He told Liebenberg that the man was about to assault him when two women, Kandara’s wife Christophine Ndapewa Kandara and another woman who he assumes is the late Kandara’s sister dragged the man away from Wessels.

“If he was not taken away, he would have assaulted me,” he said.

The man allegedly told Wessels that there would be trouble if he leaves the court alone.

Wessels said the incident was witnessed by his colleagues including Defence lawyer Sisa Namandje.

According to him, the man then went to wait in a car and when he saw Wessels approaching his own vehicle, he again wanted to approach him, but “changed his attitude” when he saw Wessels with one of his colleagues.

Wessels went on to tell the judge that there were no police officers present outside the court when the incident happened.

“I feel that there must be some form of security made available to all criminal courts,” he said.

Judge Christi Liebenberg said “it is disconcerting to hear that a legal practitioner who appears in court to do his work should feel unsafe in a court of law in this country.”

He further said that it would be a sad day for the court to give an order to have legal practitioners protected at all times.

“The matter has been presented to the Judge President to take the necessary measures to step up security in court,” he said.

Liebenberg issued a stern warning to members of the public and those that were seated in the public gallery during the trial that the court will take serious, any form of intimidation or threat made towards any legal practitioner in the arm of the law.

“Anyone who is not satisfied with proceedings of court should not approach any legal practitioner. If need be, the court will take necessary action,” Liebenberg said.

(edited)WINDHOEK: Defence Lawyer Jan Wessels was nearly assaulted by a member of the public after court adjourned here on Tuesday.

The lawyer suspects that the suspect is the late Lazarus Kandara’s brother.

Wessels is representing a number of clients in the N.dollars 30 million Avid Investment Asset Management Company and Social Security Commission (SCC) fraud trial. Kandara is believed to be the kingpin in this saga.

He related the incident in court Wednesday after Judge Christi Liebenberg, who is presiding over the case, enquired about it.

Wessels said the “bearded man” seemed to have been possessed with rage, and was about to assault him outside court when two women, Kandara’s wife Christophine Ndapewa Kandara and another woman, who he assumes is the late Kandara’s sister, dragged the man away from him.

“If he was not taken away, he would have assaulted me,” he said.

The man allegedly told Wessels that there “would be trouble if he leaves the court alone”.

Wessels said the incident was witnessed by his colleagues, including defence lawyer Sisa Namandje.

According to him, the man then went to wait in a car, and when he saw Wessels going to his own vehicle, he again wanted to approach him, but “changed his attitude” when he saw Wessels with one of his colleagues.

The lawyer said there were no Police officers present outside the court when the incident happened.

“I feel that there must be some form of security made available to all criminal courts,” he said.

Liebenberg noted that it is disconcerting to hear that a legal practitioner who appears in court to do his work, should feel unsafe in a court of law in this country.

He further said it would be a sad day for the court to give an order to have legal practitioners protected at all times.

“The matter has been presented to the Judge President to take the necessary measures to step up security in court,” he said.

Liebenberg then issued a stern warning to members of the public and those that were seated in the public gallery during the trial that the court takes serious any form of intimidation or threat made towards any legal practitioner under the arm of the law.

“Anyone who is not satisfied with proceedings of court should not approach any legal practitioner. If need be, the court will take necessary action,” the judge said.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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