Hanse-Himarwaapologises and asks for forgiveness

Former Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was convicted of corruption earlier this month, has on Wednesday tendered an apology to both the court and the entire Namibian nation for committing the offence.

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

The 52-year-old former minister made the apology in her evidence in mitigation of the custodial sentence to be imposed by the court in respect of the offence of corruption she had committed.

Hanse-Himarwa has also expressed her genuine remorse for what she did and regretted her actions when she made some changes to the original list of beneficiaries of the mass housing project in 2014.

In addition, the former minister has wholeheartedly and unreservedly apologized to the entire Namibian nation for what she did and asked for forgiveness.

'This trial is about corruption and convicted person has suffered irreparable damages because she has now lost her lucrative remuneration after her resignation from her political position. The convict suffered irreparable damages and an immense pain because of the huge consequences of the conviction and the sentence to be imposed in this case. It is true, she did something bad to the society, ' submitted the ex-minister's privately-instructed defence lawyer SisaNamandje.

Namandje continued saying that the discretion of sentencing in this case is lying in the hands of the court to hand down an appropriate punishment.

'Looking at the totality of the evidence presented during trial, the court should come up with an appropriate sentence that would not destroy the convict person, In the circumstances, the appropriate sentence to be imposed in this case should be in a from of a fine or a fully-suspended sentence over a period of time, ' said Namandje.

Namandje is, therefore, asking the court to impose a fine of about N.dollars 35 000 or hand down a fully-suspended sentence because his client committed the offence after being employed in the public service since 1987 without having committed any criminal offence.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze is scheduled to address the court on the sentence to be handed down

during Wednesday afternoon.

The former minister was found guilty in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on 08 July 2019.

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 the Hardap Region.

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.

Hanse-Himarwa is a first offender with no record of previous criminal offence.

Marondedze is being assisted by fellow State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba.

Source: Namibia Press Agency