Former education minister faces sentencing on Wednesday

Former Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was convicted of corruption earlier this month, is expected to face sentencing in the High Court Court here tomorrow, Wednesday.

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg is expected to hand down the sentence (punishment) in the matter on Wednesday at about 10h00.

Hanse-Himarwa, through his private defenceSisaNamandje, has on 24 July 2019 in her pre-sentencing evidence pleaded with court for mercy and not to impose a direct prison punishment (sentence).

She is, therefore, asking the court to hand down a sentence in a form of a fine.

On the same day, the former education minister has also apologized to the victims, the court and the entire Namibian nation for her involvement in the corruption scandal.

In his arguments for sentencing, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondezde has, however, asked the court to send the former convicted minister direct to prison because she had lied before court when she denied any involvement in the changing of the names of the original list of the beneficiaries of the mass housing project during December 2014 in Mariental in the Hardap Region.

Furthermore, it also came to light on 24 July 2019 that Hanse-Himarwa has so far has incurred a bill of over N.dollars 1 million in legal fees of private legal team.

According to her defence lawyer Namandje, Hanse-Himarwa has so far incurred a bill of about N.dollars 1 418 788.95 in legal fees for her legal representation by the Windhoek-based SisaNamandje law firm.

Namandje told the court that his client has only managed to pay an amount of about N.dollars 581 655 to the law firm.

The former education minister now owes the firm N.dollars 837 133.95, which she is being requested to pay by 01 August 2019.

On 08 July 2019, Hanse-Himarwa was found guilty of wrongly and corruptly using her position as the governor of the Hardap Region when she made changes to the original list of beneficiaries of the mass housing project in 2014.

She was found guilty in a judgement handed down by Judge Liebenberg, and she subsequently stepped down from her position as minister.

According to the judge, the overwhelming totality of the evidence presented before court during trial showed that Hanse-Himarwa had indeed influenced the removal of two names of beneficiaries from the original mass housing project list at Mariental in Hardap.

She is said to have replaced the names with names of people related to her between 15 and 17 December 2014.

The court concluded that the State proved beyond reasonable doubt that Hanse-Himarwa was the actual person who, during her tenure as Governor of the Hardap Region, gave a directive that the original list of 19 mass housing beneficiaries be changed by replacing the names of Regina Kuhlman and Piet Fransman with that of Christiana Lorraine Hanse and Justine Josephine Gowases.

Source: Namibia Press Agency