Investigations into witness fee fraud scandal still ongoing

07 Feb 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 07 FEB (NAMPA) - Investigations into the case of a Windhoek-based public prosecutor and two other men arrested in December 2016 on charges of fraud and corruption for allegedly pocketing witness fees, are still ongoing.
The three men - Windhoek-based public prosecutor Ivan Tjizu, 29; Sackaria Panduleni and Erwin Ngutinzo (ages not provided) - made another appearance in the Katutura Magistrate's Court on Wednesday when their fraud and corruption case was remanded until 03 September this year to allow the police to complete their investigations.
On the same date, a decision from the Office of the Prosecutor-General on how to proceed with the case is also likely to be made public in court.
Wednesday's postponement was a final remand for further police investigations as per the court order issued by Magistrate Bernedine Kubersky.
Tjizu, who is accused number one in the matter, was arrested on 07 December 2016 by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission and made his first appearance in court in connection with the four charges of fraud and corruption on 09 December 2016.
He allegedly defrauded the State of N.dollars 280 000 in witness fees by fraudulently claiming fees for State witnesses who travelled from outside Windhoek.
Panduleni and Ngutinzo were arrested at a later stage.
The witness fees were paid out at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, it is alleged.
Tjizu was employed by the Justice Ministry as a public prosecutor at the same magistrate's court when the alleged fraud and corruption case was uncovered.
He is free on bail of N.dollars 40 000, while Panduleni and Ngutinzo are free on bail of N.dollars 30 000 and N.dollars 7 000, respectively.
Public Prosecutor Victoria Tompson appeared for the State on Wednesday.
Accused Tjizu appeared in person with no defence lawyer, while his co-accused have privately-instructed legal representation.