Fake qualifications trial starting in September
06 Feb 2018 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 06 FEB (NAMPA) - The trial of 15 Namibians arrested in 2014 for allegedly possessing fake qualifications obtained from bogus colleges in Zimbabwe is scheduled to begin on 10 September 2018.
This came to light after the accused made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, when presiding Magistrate Brand van Platzen postponed their fraud case to 10 September 2018.
Thirty-three people were initially arrested in connection with the scandal, but only 15 accused will now stand trial after charges were withdrawn against the other 18 suspects on 29 September last year after the prosecution could not link them to the case.
The trial is set to run until 14 September as per an agreement reached by the prosecution and the accused's defence lawyers in court on Tuesday.
The 15 suspects are Regina Nelumbu; Saima Nakathila; Josephina Iita; Benedicta Stephanus; Elia Kaiko; Davinga Shivinga; Monica Itengula; Paulus Ndara; Gregor Mbanze Sikerete; Samuel Samuel Sem; Nghaanekwa Linekela, Fillemon Jatileni; Martha Mwandjekange, Paulina Inane and Neliwa Miina Ndapewoshali.
Some of the accused allegedly used the fake qualifications to gain admission to several Namibian institutions of higher learning over the past few years, while some have been employed by different companies.
They were arrested in October 2014 at various locations in Windhoek on charges of forgery and fraud. The suspects are free on bail ranging between N.dollars 1 000 and N.dollars 5 000.
Local defence lawyers Mbushandje Nhinda, Kadhila Amoomo, Africa Jantjies, Milton Engelbrecht and Mbanga Miriam Kenaruzo are representing the accused, while Public Prosecutor, Tatelo Cuthbert Lusepani, handled the case.