Judgement in Ex-Oshakati magistrate's corruption case sees delay

04 Jul 2019 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUL (NAMPA) - Judgement in the case of former Oshakati Magistrate, Melanie Theron, who is on trial on fraud and corruption charges, was on Thursday postponed to Thursday next week.
High Court Judge Nate Ndaendapo, who is presiding over the trial, was expected to hand down the verdict on the matter on Thursday, but was unable to do so because he could not find on time a copy of another judgement of a case which was cited by the accused former magistrate in her heads of arguments during trial.
“I am sorry to inform you that the judgement of this case is not ready yet. I could not find a copy of the records of a judgement cited by the accused in her heads of arguments during trial. My office is now busy looking for the records of the judgement cited by the accused,” said Ndaendapo.
The former magistrate was arrested on 15 August 2011 on charges of fraud, corruption, bribery and extortion stemming from allegations that she allegedly corruptly solicited, accepted or agreed to accept a bribe to withdraw traffic tickets.
In her testimony before court, Theron said all the evidence presented before court by the prosecution's witnesses, who testified against her, was not credible and should not be regarded by the court.
According to the State, Theron allegedly accepted N.dollars 6 600 from various people who had received traffic offences.
She said that the witnesses, 90 per cent of whom were taxi drivers, had contradicted themselves several times while giving evidence in court.
She alleged that the witnesses’ written statements had been translated without the issuance of a translation certificate and were written down without being read back to them.
“The State is inventing facts to sustain their case,” Theron said in her defence.
She flatly denied withdrawing the tickets and claimed an application was made to have them withdrawn by a prosecutor at the Oshakati Magistrate's Court.
She further said one of the key State witnesses in the case, who claimed to have paid her, appeared confused when asked when it was done.
“There was no fraud committed on my part and I acted in line with my duties,” she said.
Theron is defending herself.
Senior State Advocate Simba Nduna is appearing for the prosecution.