26 Mar 2015 09:16am
KATIMA MULILO, 26 MAR (NAMPA) Katima Mulilo Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi has slammed the state on theft charges against 23 high school learners allegedly found in possession of some Grade 10 and 12 final examination papers that were leaked in 2012.
Despite numerous court remands since 2012 for the State to prepare itself on the matter, it failed to properly draft the charges against the accused persons, resulting in Velikoshi removing the matter from the court roll on 11 March 2015.
The accused have been coming to court uniformed of the charges against them. It is unacceptable that for more than two years, the State has not yet drafted the charges. I am not convinced, there is absolutely no good or satisfactory explanation as to why I should remand this matter to a future date, said Velikoshi.
Court documents seen by Nampa pronounce that the State failed to prepare itself for the plea and trial of the persons allegedly found with Grade 10 and 12 examination papers. The matter was set to be heard before Velikoshi on 11 March.
Velikoshis ruling reads that the State, represented by George Matali, also failed to subpoena witnesses of which some are local residents in Katima Mulilo and others are based in Windhoek.
In his ruling, Velikoshi further highlights that the matter was always hampered with by the continuous absence of some learners, as they are said to be studying at tertiary institutions outside the country, which prompted their legal representatives to request that the matter be struck off the roll until the State is ready to proceed at a yet to be determined date.
Velikoshi ordered that the state refund the bail amount of N.dollars 20 000 to the alleged mastermind behind the theft of the four different subject examination papers, adult Manga Wakumelo.
It was alleged that Wakumelo, a former typist in the Ministry of Education and now an employee in the Ministry of Safety and Security, sold the leaked Development Studies, Biology, English and Agriculture examination papers for N.dollar 500 each to learners at different schools, who then allegedly sold them for N.dollar 700 to peers.
The leaked examination papers prompted a nationwide investigation to establish if other regions were involved in the alleged syndicate.
If the matter is a high profile case, as the State would like the court to believe, the State would have attached some importance and urgency to it. Since the State is not willing to withdraw the case, the matter is removed off the roll, reads the ruling.
The learners who were released out on warning are: Namata Silimbani, Namonda Kasango, Miyano Limbo, Musiyalike Kapika, Nanja Linosi, Mucheka Muntinta, Eunice Lunza Silimbani, Kaungwe Nyambe, Felicia Matengu, Edgar Kasango, Otto Malipa, Herman Malambo and Chuma Simanga.
The list of accused further includes Chaze Kachilombwa, Inonge Njamba, Norah Kozo Ntomwa, Cynthia Mabengano, Kabuba Simasiku, Lilian Simbuwa, Chaze Chika, Charmaine Mushe, Sililo Mwilima and Tracy Rujuwa.