N$18 000 for False Work Permit

A South African citizen who pleaded guilty to having a false work permit was sentenced to a fine of N$18 000 or to spend two years behind bars last week. Magistrate Justine Asino handed down the sentence on 33-year-old Mbuyiselo Wellington Tase in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The offence carries a maximum fine of N$20 000 or five years imprisonment or both.

During sentencing Asino said there was a public outcry from society regarding foreigners illegally in the country attempting to or misleading officials in marrying Namibian women and then disappearing.

She said it was aggravating that Tase already knew in May 2013 when he obtained the permit that it was a falsified document, but he still went ahead to use the document to mislead authorities.

Tase informed the court in his plea explanation that he obtained the document during a previous visit to Namibia from a certain Roberto. He was arrested by immigration officials when he went to apply for a marriage licence to marry his fianceacutee and business partner. Tase entered Namibia on March 31 this year.

According to his legal representative, Boris Isaacks, he established a business venture with his fianceacutee and wanted to work at the company, hence the acquisition of the false permit. But magistrate Asino was not swayed. She said it was aggravating that Tase did not follow the legal route to obtain an employment permit.

According to Asino, there is an already high rate of unemployment in the country and if a foreigner has to be employed he or she must be in possession of lawful documents otherwise the society would lose faith in the effectiveness of immigration officials.

Isaacks informed the court that the fact that Tase would be deported back to South Africa and not be able to marry his fianceacutee in Namibia or in future be able to work in Namibia would have a devastating effect on his personal and business life and be punishment in itself. He said it was clearly a case where mercy was needed by not imposing a direct prison term.

State prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt told the court that Namibia is a sovereign and independent state whose laws must be obeyed by Namibian citizens and foreigners alike.

She said it was evident from the number of immigration cases on the court rolls that foreigners have little or no regard for the laws of Namibia. She said the courts must show enough is enough and mete out deterrent sentences as a sign that they meant business. She proposed a sentence of N$12 000 or two years imprisonment.

After Asino sentenced Tase, defence counsel Isaacks emitted a laughing sound and Asino was quick to ask him whether he found her sentence funny. But his nickname is not ‘The Mouth’ for nothing as he quickly replied he was thinking of something else and immediately proceeded to apologise.

“I sincerely apologise to you, Your Worship, and pray that you accept my apology,” he said to Asino.

Source : New Era