5 December 2012

Namibia: Khorixas Fraud Trial Postponed to June

THE fraud trial of top Khorixas Town Council officials and others has been postponed to June 5 next year for the transcription of the court record and for a decision of the court on an application of the accused to be discharged.

The chief executive officer of the Khorixas Town Council, Nicodemus #Gaeseb, corporate affairs and human resource officer Eben Xoagub, his wife Berlinda Xoagus, Jeremias #Kheimseb (a relative of Xoagus), housing head Daniel Geiseb, ambulance driver Isaskar !Ganeb, Swapo councillor Elray Essau and Reverend Barry Goamub appeared before Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt in the Khorixas Regional Court on fraud-related charges involving N$400 000 of the town council’s money last week.

The Anti-Corruption Commission started investigating the Khorixas council in early 2011 after allegations of fictitious tenders surfaced. It is alleged that Swapo councillor Berlinda Xoagus, who was also the local postmaster, asked her husband to help her out with N$250 000 to cover up a shortfall at the post office after auditors who arrived unannounced had discovered that money was missing.

Xoagub in turn allegedly asked ≠Gaeseb for council money to balance Nampost’s books.

A former Anti-Corruption Commission investigator, Oberty Inambao, during his testimony about his investigation was continuously interrupted by the legal representatives of the accused, who did not allow him to divulge all the information he had gathered in the course of the investigation.

Some of the defence lawyers particularly objected to information provided by Elsie !Hanadoes, secretary of the Khorixas CEO. The magistrate ruled in favour of the defence.

Inambao told the court that Xoagub was at the February 25 2011 meeting where #Kheimseb was given a town council tender to the value of N$400 000. Inambao’s testimony was based on telephone records. However, Magistrate Diergaardt told him that the telephone records were not admissible.

Xoagub is said to have been at Swakopmund on that day but is minuted as having been part of the February 25 meeting which State Prosecutor OJ Lino argued was ‘fictitious’.

However, after the lunch break Magistrate Diergaardt allowed Inambao’s telephone record testimony, saying that it would be accepted on condition that MTC technicians would testify about the records.

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