Hanse-Himarwa's corruption trial resuming on Monday

08 Mar 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAR (NAMPA) – The continuation of the trial of Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who stands accused of corruption for allegedly allocating houses to relatives in Mariental, will resume in the High Court here on Monday.
The charge relates to the minister’s duties as governor of the Hardap Region from 2005 to 2014, prior to her appointment to her current ministerial position.
The trial was on 16 November 2018 postponed to 11 March this year as per an agreement reached by the minister's privately-instructed defence lawyer Sisa Namandje and prosecution representatives, State advocates Salomon Kanyemba and Constance Moyo in court.
The trial is expected to continue before presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg until the week of 15 April 2019.
At the beginning of her trial in October last year, the 51-year-old Hanse-Himarwa denied committing the offence when she pleaded not guilty to the charge against her.
In a statement presented before court, Hanse-Himarwa said she never used her office or position for gratification when she was Hardap governor.
“I never placed my relatives on a list of mass housing beneficiaries at Mariental while I was governor of the Hardap Region. I also did not replace some original beneficiaries on the list so that my relatives would benefit,” she said.
Former Mariental Mayor Alex Kamburute in his evidence before court in November however said Hanse-Himarwa allegedly wanted the names of two people removed from the beneficiary list.
According to Kamburute, this allegedly happened during a meeting at the office of the former governor in December 2014.
Also testifying before court in November was the ex-chief executive officer of the Mariental Municipality Paulus Nghiwilepo told the court she allegedly instructed him to remove two names from the list and replace them with names she gave him.
It is alleged that the names of Regina Kuhlman and Piet Fransman were then removed and replaced with the names of Christiana Lorraine Hanse and Justine Josephine Gowases.
Hanse-Himarwa on 29 October 2018 admitted before court that she is related to Hanse and Gowases, but denied ordering that they be added to the list of housing beneficiaries.
Hanse-Himarwa is free on a warning.