Ex-Outjo Municipal treasurer admits setting offices on fire

12 May 2014 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 12 MAY (NAMPA) - The former treasurer of the Outjo Municipality has admitted setting fire to the offices of the Outjo Municipality in August 2009.
The 54-year-old Dawid Johannes Koen made this admission when he pled guilty to a charge of arson, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and some various charges of fraud and theft involving over N.dollars 1 million at the start of his trial before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka here on Monday morning.
Koen admitted that he unlawfully and intentionally set fire to the offices of the Outjo Municipality on 17 August 2009 in order to conceal and destroy evidence of theft of money from the municipality, and of his fraudulent activities against the municipality.
He said this in a plea of guilty explanation which was presented before court by his defence lawyer, attorney Jan Wessels on Monday.
Koen pled guilty to a charge of arson, a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice and to a total of 60 counts of fraud and theft involving a total amount of N.dollars 1 190 979.80.
He, however, pled not guilty to a total of 52 counts of fraud and theft involving a total amount of N.dollars 551 229 of which he was completely acquitted by the court.
“I, hereby, confirm that I plead guilty to the above-mentioned charges on my free will and nobody has influenced me in any manner whatsoever to plead guilty, nor was I made any promises in order to plead guilty to the charges,” said Koen in his plea of guilty.
He further confirmed before court that he was fully aware of the consequences of this plea of guilty, namely that he can be convicted on the charges to which he has pled guilty, without the State having to call witnesses or tender any evidence to the said charges against him.
As a result, presiding High Court Judge Siboleka then found Koen guilty as charged.
He is a first offender with no record of any previous of criminal offence.
Koen was born in neighbouring South Africa some 53 years ago, and settled in the then South West Africa (now Namibia) with his parents in 1972.
He finished Matric (now Grade 12) in 1978 after which he went for compulsory military training service for about two years.
He joined the Outjo Municipality in 2000 as treasurer.
Koen is a married father of three children who all live in the Outjo district in the Kunene Region at the present moment.
He has already paid a total of N.dollars 386 000 of his pension pay-outs to the Outjo Municipality in order to help reduce the losses to the municipality.
Koen told the court that his family and friends are now ready to make some more payments in the total of N.dollars 300 000 in cash if the court sentences him to pay a fine.
He will be cross-examined by State representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze on Tuesday morning regarding his evidence in mitigation of sentencing.
(NAMPA)
SKE/ND