Babi and follower charged with bribery

30 June 2020 | Justice

FRANCOISE STEYNBERG

WINDHOEK



Accused rhino poacher Jackson Babi (30) and one of his followers, Ananias Ananias, appeared on two corruption charges before the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Ananias (37) allegedly tried to bribe the investigating officer in Babi's poaching case in Windhoek on Friday.

He allegedly offered the investigator N$13 000 for ensuring that Babi would be released on bail.

State prosecutor Rowan van Wyk opposed the granting of bail on the grounds that the accused might interfere with the investigation. He asked that the case be postponed to 24 July, when Babi is expected to make his next court appearance on the poaching charges. “All the necessary statements have been obtained and are in the docket. Only the video footage is still outstanding,” Van Wyk said.

The two men's lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, complained that his clients were not being afforded a fair trial.

“Information, identity documents and photos are being leaked to the media by the police or the Anti-Corruption Commission and circulated on social media,” he said.





Van Wyk responded that he had only received the docket at 10:00 yesterday and had no idea how the information had been leaked.

“The court cannot comment on the publication of these documents by the media or on social media, since the source is unknown,” said Magistrate Samunzela Samunzela.

He remanded both men in custody and postponed the hearing to 24 July.

During Babi's previous court appearance, Ananias had smashed a journalist's camera against her face when she tried to take a photograph of Babi.

Yesterday, followers of Babi's House of Joy Ministries again formed a human shield around their pastor and pushed a journalist out of the way.

Babi and other alleged members of a poaching syndicate are also facing poaching charges in the Gobabis Magistrate's Court. That case has been postponed to 15 September.

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