Ex-Outjo treasurer faces sentencing on 15 July

WINDHOEK; The former treasurer of the Outjo municipality who admitted to setting his employer’s offices on fire in August 2009, will face sentencing next month.

The 54-year-old Dawid Johannes Koen was set to be sentenced by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on Monday, but the judge could not finish compiling his verdict on time due to other similar official commitments.

He will now be sentenced on 15 July this year after he had pleaded guilty to a charge of arson, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and some charges of fraud and theft involving over N.dollars 1 million at the start of his trial on 12 May this year.

On that day, Koen admitted that he unlawfully and intentionally set fire to the offices of the Outjo municipality on 17 August 2009 in order to conceal and destroy evidence of his theft of money from the municipality, and of his fraudulent activities against the municipality.

He stated this in a plea explanation presented to court by his defence lawyer, attorney Jan Wessels.

This was in relation to a charge of arson, a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice and to a total of 60 counts of fraud and theft involving a total amount of N.dollars 1 190 979.80.

He, however, denied a total of 52 counts of fraud and theft involving an amount of N.dollars 551 229, to which he was subsequently acquitted.

He further confirmed before court that he was fully aware of the consequences of the plea, namely that he could be convicted on the charges to which he had pled guilty, without the State having to call witnesses or tender any evidence to the said charges.

As a result, Siboleka found Koen guilty as charged.

He is a first offender, with no record of any previous of criminal offence.

He was born in neighbouring South Africa some 53 years ago, and settled in the then-South West Africa (now Namibia) with his parents in 1972.

He finished Matric (now Grade 12) in 1978, after which he went for compulsory military training service for two years.

He afterwards joined the Outjo municipality in 2000 as a treasurer.

Koen is a married father of three children, who all live in the Outjo district in the Kunene Region at present.

He has already paid a total of N.dollars 386 000 of his pension pay-outs to the Outjo municipality in order to help reduce the losses to the municipality.

Koen told the court that his family and friends are now ready to make some more payments to the tuen of N.dollars 300 000 in cash if the court sentences him to pay a fine.

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