Former education minister faces sentencing on Wednesday

30 Jul 2019 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 30 JUL (NAMPA) – Former Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was convicted of corruption earlier this month, is expected to face sentencing in the High Court here on Wednesday.
High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg is expected to hand down the sentence in the matter around 10h00.
Hanse-Himarwa, through her privately-instructed defence lawyer Sisa Namandje, on 24 July 2019 in her pre-sentencing evidence pleaded with the court for mercy and asked that it not impose a direct prison punishment.
She instead asked that the court hand down a sentence in the form of a fine.
The former education minister also apologised to the victims, the court and the entire nation for her involvement in the corruption scandal.
In his arguments for sentencing, Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze however asked the court to send Hanse-Himarwa directly to prison because she lied before court when she denied being involved in the changing of names on the original list of beneficiaries of the mass housing project during December 2014 at Mariental.
It also came to light on 24 July 2019 that Hanse-Himarwa so far incurred a bill of over N.dollars 1 million in legal fees for her representation by the Windhoek-based Sisa Namandje law firm.
Namandje told the court his client only managed to pay N.dollars 581 655 to the law firm so far.
She was requested to pay the outstanding N.dollars 837 133.95 by 01 August 2019.
On 08 July 2019, Hanse-Himarwa was found guilty of wrongly and corruptly using her position as the governor of the Hardap Region to change the list of mass housing beneficiaries.
She was found guilty in a judgement handed down by Judge Liebenberg and subsequently stepped down from her position as minister.
According to the judge, the overwhelming totality of the evidence presented before court during trial showed that Hanse-Himarwa had indeed influenced the removal of two names of beneficiaries from the list.
She is said to have replaced it with the names of people related to her between 15 and 17 December 2014.
The court concluded that the State proved beyond reasonable doubt that Hanse-Himarwa was the actual person who, during her tenure as Hardap Governor, gave a directive that the original list of 19 mass housing beneficiaries be changed. The names of Regina Kuhlman and Piet Fransman were replaced with that of Christiana Lorraine Hanse and Justine Josephine Gowases.
(NAMPA)
SKE/AS/PS