Namibia: Government to Pay Back Shaduka's Stolen Money

THE government, through the minister of safety and security, has agreed to pay back nearly N$200 000 that was allegedly stolen from murder convict Lazarus Shaduka.

Shaduka sued the authorities after a prison officer had allegedly stolen the money from his bank account.

Media reports in May last year said prison officer Sakaria Joel Fikameni had been withdrawing money from Shaduka's Standard Bank account at various automated teller machines without Shaduka's knowledge, until the withdrawals reached a total amount of N$208 000.

Shaduka sued the minister of safety and security and Fikameni over the alleged theft, and a settlement was reached in the case last week, and made an order of the High Court on Tuesday this week.

The court ordered the minister - or, in effect, Namibia's taxpayers - to pay Shaduka N$185 000 within 90 working days, plus 50% of his legal costs of the case, amounting to N$8 625. It was also ordered that should the minister fail to pay the money on the agreed date, Shaduka has the right to approach the court again to demand that the government pays him within seven working days.

The commissioner general of the Namibian Correctional Service, Raphael Hamunyela, signed the settlement agreement on behalf of the minister, while Shaduka signed the agreement himself.

Shaduka, who is serving a 20-year prison term for killing his wife, Selma Shaimemanya, in July 2008, discovered the disappearance of money from his bank account when his daughter went to the bank, but was told there had been several transactions on her father's account.

It is alleged that prison officers Fikameni and Victor Wilhelm worked with an inmate, Saleks Ditshabue, who pushed Shaduka's wheelchair to the bank for him to acquire a card. It is suspected that Ditshabue saw Shaduka's personal identification number (PIN), and gave it to the officers. Fikameni is currently on suspension.

Ditshabue was sentenced to a 20-year prison term on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances in October 2008. - Nampa

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