Joseph Madisia Acquitted of Assault

Magistrate Justine Asino on April 30 acquitted former director of the National Art Gallery (NAG) Joseph Madisia on charges of common assault.

The court also acquitted Madisia of two counts of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

The magistrate found it strange that the victim did not inform the police about the alleged assault while the events were still fresh in his mind. Madisia was accused of bashing a colleague five years ago. Madisia allegedly punched a fellow employee, Ebson Hamauka, who worked as a cleaner and messenger at the art gallery. The incident happened on December 16, 2009, when Madisia was the director. Madisia allegedly offered to pay Hamauka a bribe of N$2 000 to drop the case. He pleaded not guilty to the charges when his trial started in 2011.

In his earlier testimony during the trial, Hamauka informed the court he was on the ground floor when a painter in the gallery asked him to make him tea. It was then that Madisia showed up on the scene and asked what he was doing, Hamauka said.

Hamauka testified that Madisia started pointing a finger at him. This led to Madisia allegedly hitting Hamauka on the chest with the words: “Let’s go outside and m*#er [beat] each other.” Hamauka testified that following the incident, Madisia called him to his office and offered to pay him N$2 000 to withdraw the charges. The request was allegedly made in the presence of a police officer, who aised them that the case could not be dropped since it was already with the court.

Aocate Albert Strydom, Madisia’s defence counsel, said it was evident that Hamauka was not truthful. The aocate further pointed out that Madisia was not guilty of the second count, that of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, since he did not offer Hamauka N$2 000.

Source : New Era