22 January 2013

Namibia: Final Postponement in Conradie Case

A MAGISTRATE on Friday granted a final postponement to the State in the corruption case of Windhoek lawyer Dirk Conradie and his co-accused, Sarah Damases.

Public Prosecutor Eric Naikaku informed Magistrate Justine Asino that the decision of the prosecutor general (PG) was not yet available.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation into the matter had been finalised in September last year already.

Magistrate Asino ruled that it would be the last time that the case is postponed for that purpose after a request by the accused's legal representatives.

Naikaku said he was informed that the decision would be available in four months' time.

Magistrate Asino postponed the case until May 31.

Based on the ACC docket, the PG needs to decide whether or not to prosecute them and, if prosecuted, in which court.

Conradie and Damases were arrested by the ACC on June 26 last year for allegedly trying to extort a bribe from an advertising agency. The charge against Conradie is that he used his position as chairperson of MTC to try to get Damases a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) shareholding in advertising agency DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi (DV8).

DV8 had tendered for advertising contract worth N$60 million at MTC.

Conradie has since been replaced as board chairperson of MTC by fellow board member Itah Kandjii-Murangi.

According to the ACC, should DV8 have brought Damases on board, Conradie promised that he would use his influence to have the MTC advertising contract awarded to DV8.

Shortly after his release from custody on bail of N$30 000, Conradie told The Namibian: "I've done this with a clear political motive to empower my people. If it's wrong, and I don't think I am, then I'm prepared to die on the cross for that."

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