Ex-Magisrtrate denies corruption charges

31 Oct 2016 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 31 OCT (NAMPA)- A former magistrate of Oshakati facing 18 charges of corruption and bribery on Monday vehemently denied having cancelled a number of warrants of arrest issued against traffic offenders at the northern business town during 2011.
The 31-year-old Melanie Theron denied these allegations when she started giving evidence in her own defence during the continuation of the trial of her alleged corruption and bribery case that resumed before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
The former magistrate also denied that she had documented in court records that the cases against the accused traffic offenders had been withdrawn or that they were cautioned after they had pleaded guilty, while they were allegedly not present in courts at all.
“It is true I was employed as a Magistrate by the Ministry of Justice at Oshakati during 2011. I had been dealing with all types of criminal, domestic and civil cases. But, I had never cancelled warrants of arrest that had been issued against traffic offenders as the State is alleging now. All the warrants of arrest that had been issued against traffic offenders were cancelled or withdrawn as per applications brought before courts by the prosecutors. I had never cancelled warrants of arrest and withdrawn charges against traffic offenders out of my free will without applications brought before me (courts) by State prosecutors. Everything was done according to court procedures and as per the requests or applications brought before courts by the State prosecutors,” testified Theron.
She informed the court that all matters related to warrants of arrest and the withdrawal of the charges against people accused of traffic offences were done in open courts and not in her office as the prosecution is alleging now.
Theron will be giving evidence in her own defence from Monday to Friday, after which she will be cross-examined by prosecution representative, Senior State Advocate Simba Nduna.
A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet have it that Theron was arrested in August 2011 on 18 charges of corruption, bribery and extortion, stemming from the time she was employed at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court between 26 May 2011 and 15 August 2011.
The State alleges that Theron had corruptly solicited, accepted or agreed to accept bribes in the process of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The former magistrate had allegedly accepted an amount of about N.dollars 6 600 from various people who had been accused of traffic offences and she had allegedly used the said money for her personal benefits.
Trial continues Tuesday morning at about 10h00.
Windhoek-based defence Garth Josephs is defending the accused former magistrate.
Theron went to Oshakati in 2010 and lost her employment in 2013 following her arrest on these charges of corruption and bribery.
She is now unemployed.