Education Minister to hear court judgement Monday

Judgement in a case in which Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, stands accused of corruption in connection with the allocation of housing at Mariental in 2014, is expected to be handed down in the High Court here tomorrow, Monday, on 08 July 2019.

This announcement was made by High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on 22 May 2019 shortly after he has listened to submissions for judgement by both prosecution representative and the accused's defence team.

Judge Liebenberg is expected to deliver his ruling (verdict) in the matter on Monday morning at about 10h00.

Hanse-Himarwa stands accused of removing two names of beneficiaries from the original mass housing project list in Mariental in the Hardap Region and allegedly replacing them with the names of her relatives between 15 and 17 December 2014.

In his closing arguments for judgement, Deputy Prosecutor-General, Ed Marondedze, asked the court to find the accused minister guilty on the grounds that she was responsible for tampering with the list of mass housing beneficiaries to benefit her relatives.

Marondedze called for the conviction of the minister because she was the person, during her tenure as Governor of the Hardap Region, who gave a directive that the original list of 19 mass housing beneficiaries be changed and the names of Regina Kuhlman and Piet Fransman be replaced with the names of Christiana Lorraine Hanse and Justine Josephine Gowases.

Both Christina Lorraine Hanse and Gowases are indeed the accused minister's relatives.

However, SisaNamandje, who is defending the minister, called for the acquittal of his client on the basis that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Namandje argued that all statements by State witnesses were false information and 'doctored' by investigators of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to suit and benefit the prosecution's case.

During trial, Hanse-Himarwa maintained she did not tamper with or attempt to alter the original list of mass housing beneficiaries.

At the beginning of her trial in October 2018, Hanse-Himarwa, 51, denied committing the offence or any involvement in the matter when she pleaded not guilty to the charge against her.

In a statement presented before court, she said she never used her office or position for gratification when she was Hardap Governor.

State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba is assisting Marondedze.

Source: Namibia Press Agency