19 November 2012

Namibia: Magistrate Nailed for Soliciting 'Bribes'

Windhoek — A magistrate from Oshakati found herself on the wrong side of the bench when she appeared in court for taking bribes to make traffic dockets 'vanish'.

Court documents in New Era's possession indicate the suspect, Melaney Theron (26) allegedly received money from various accused persons as payment for their traffic fines and she used the money for her own benefit last year.

Theron was arrested on August 15, 2011, but is free on bail of N$7 000. Theron allegedly cancelled warrants of arrest that were lawfully issued against some offenders.

In some instances, she would record on the case records and court book that such traffic cases were withdrawn or that the accused had pleaded guilty and that they were cautioned and warned, as punishment, whereas in fact such traffic offenders never appeared before a court at all.

Theron faces 20 counts, mainly under the Anti-Corruption Act, but the charges also include fraud, as well as defeating the course of justice and corruptly using her office or position for gratification.

In one instance, court documents indicate that on July 12, 2011 Theron obtained a gratification of N$500 from a certain Kalusha Werner Iitembu, following which she cancelled a warrant for his arrest, it is alleged.

January 23, 2013 has been set as the date when the State and the accused will meet in court to set a trial date before Judge Nate Ndauendapo.

Advocate Shakwa Nyambe is representing the State.

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