Accused Damases left with no legal representation

20 Apr 2015 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 APR (NAMPA) - Windhoek resident, Sarah Damases, who was arrested in June 2012 on corruption charges together with prominent local lawyer, Dirk Conradie, no longer has legal representation.
Damases was left with no legal representation following a decision taken by South African senior counsel, Vas Soni, who opted to represent only Conradie.
Soni was initially instructed by Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Slysken Makando to represent both Damases and Conradie.
However, as the alleged corruption trial was about to kick off in the High Court on Monday afternoon, Soni informed presiding Acting High Court Judge Thomas Masuku that it would not be proper to defend both accused persons.
Soni took the decision to not represent Damases after he carefully went through and was persuaded by all the court documents that were provided to him.
These circumstances then forced the case to be postponed to Monday next week, in order for Damases to secure the service of another defence lawyer.
Prosecution representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze was not happy with the postponement of the case, as he was ready to proceed with the trial.
The trial is set to run until 15 May 2015.
The accused are free on a warning and were again on Monday warned to appear before court next week Monday.
Conradie and Damases were arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of corruption in connection with a N.dollars 60 million-advertisement contract for Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), on whose board Conradie served as chairperson at the time.
Damases is accused of allegedly “conspiring with Conradie to commit an offence”.
ACC deputy director Erna van der Merwe earlier said Conradie allegedly “corruptly solicited gratification as an inducement or reward for giving assistance or using his influence in the promotion or procurement of a contract with MTC for the provision of advertising services”.
Conradie had represented several people in high-profile court cases in Namibia.
He also serves on various influential national positions and boards, including the Lands Tribunal.