ACC rubbishes Namandje's comments

26 July 2019 | Crime

The director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, has hit back at a claim that the anti-graft body has failed in its mandate and that former basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa's trial was a case study.

The argument was made in court by Hanse-Himarwa's lawyer, Sisa Namandje, this week.

Namandje said Hanse-Himarwa was the first cabinet minister to be tried in the High Court and using her as a case study would not be fair just because the Anti-Corruption Commission may have failed its mandate to arrest others in senior offices, public broadcaster NBC reported.

Responding to this claim, Noa said the anti-graft body did not pursue particular individuals because of their standing in society.

“The ACC does not investigate and act against senior public officials because they are cabinet ministers, just to please the public or become popular. The ACC investigates and when necessary makes an arrest when the evidence justifies such actions,” Noa said.

Noa further denied that the ACC had failed to fulfil its mandate.

“One of the responsibilities of the ACC is to ensure that we do not act in bad faith, just to become popular in the eyes the public. The ACC has in the past investigated senior public officials, including cabinet ministers,” Noa said.

“Currently the ACC is busy investigating allegations of corruption involving senior public officials. When evidence justifies, the suspects will be brought before a court of law. No person is above the law in Namibia.

“In the same vein, the rights of every person in Namibia are protected by the law, particularly by the constitution, irrespective of the status of the person in society. The ACC does not run amok just to create records of arrest,” he added

Hanse-Himarwa was earlier this month convicted by Judge Christi Liebenberg on a charge of corruptly using her office for gratification.

She will be sentenced next week.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of N$500 000 or 25 years' imprisonment, or both.

OGONE TLHAGE

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