14 Jun 2013 05:40
WINDHOEK, 14 JUN (NAMPA) ? Deputy Commissioner of Prisons Tuhafeni Hangula who faces fraud charges over the authenticity of his school-leaving certificate, will go on trial in January next year.
Hangula made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along Lüderitz Street on Friday morning, where his fraud case was postponed to 20 January 2014 for plea and trial.
This was upon agreement reached between Hangula's defence lawyer Sisa Namandje and Public Prosecutor Eric Naikaku, and in accordance with a recent decision taken by the Office of Prosecutor-General Martha Ekandjo-Imalwa made available before court today.
The State was also ordered to make sure that all State witnesses are subpoenaed well in time in order to avoid any delay when the trial begins in January by Windhoek Magistrate Hileni Riana Kavara.
The accused is free on bail of N.dollars 2 000, which was also extended.
The deputy commissioner faces charges of fraud, forgery and uttering.
The charges against the 44-year-old Hangula stem from allegations that the Standard 10 (Grade 12) school-leaving certificate he has been using is not genuine.
According to earlier media reports, Hangula testified about this issue in the High Court in Windhoek in October last year during a trial on a defamation claim that he had instituted against weekly newspaper 'Informante' about an article which did not deal with his school qualifications.
Hangula won the above-mentioned defamation case against the weekly publication 'Informante' and its editor Nghidipo Nangolo in connection with a story in which it was claimed that he had helped an alleged fraud suspect to flee from Namibia while that suspect was free on bail.
High Court Judge Dave Smuts cleared Hangula of any wrongdoing when he delivered a ruling on the matter on 27 November last year.
Meanwhile, documents placed before the court in that defamation case indicated that the correctness of Hangula's Standard 10 certificate was confirmed in a letter which was signed by an official in the then-Ministry of Education and Culture in April 1995. However, in a letter which the Ministry of Education's Director of National Examinations and Assessment, Charles Nyambe had written to the Office of the Ombudsman in March 2011, it was stated that it was established with a subsequent investigation of records in the Education Ministry that Hangula's school-leaving certificate was not genuine.
Hangula also testified during the hearing of his defamation claim that he was employed in the public service before Namibia attained independence on the basis of the Standard Eight (Grade 10) qualification, which he had at that time.
However, Hangula has continued to improve his academic qualifications in spite of questions about the validity of his school certificate, over the past few years.
He graduated at the Polytechnic of Namibia with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice (Correctional Management) degree in 2012.
Hangula has been investigated by investigators attached to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) for the past 10 years in connection with this alleged fraud case.
He is currently on suspension with full pay, pending the outcome of the case.