Katrina in court today

05 March 2018 | Justice

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who stands accused of corruptly using her former office as Hardap governor for gratification, has been summoned to appear in the Mariental Magistrate's Court today.

Hanse-Himarwa served as the Hardap governor between 2005 and 2015, when she was appointed as education minister.

On Friday she issued a statement using the ministry's letterhead after Job Amupanda posted on Facebook that Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa had charged her with corruption but that President Hage Geingob allegedly used his powers to ensure she was not arrested.

In her statement Hanse-Himarwa confirmed the summons, saying it was painful that the actions taken within the scope of her responsibilities and duties as a governor had resulted in the case being brought against her.

“I state categorically that I neither abused my powers, nor was I motivated by a desire for my direct and or indirect benefit. The allegations levelled against me torment my person for a long time as it is difficult to defend yourself in a court of public opinion,” said Hanse-Himarwa. She added that she intended to stay true to the solemn oath she had taken as minister to serve the Namibian people to the best of her ability and to perform the duties of her office with due diligence and dignity.

“I would like to concentrate on my responsibilities as a minister. Furthermore, I will not provide further [comment] on this matter as I have complete faith in the independence of our judiciary and the strength of the evidence which supports my case.”





When asked whether the minister was allowed to use the ministry's letterhead, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director-general Paulus Noa said it was difficult to comment because it was unclear in which capacity she had used it.

He also made it clear that there was no need for her to be arrested, as she was only appearing in the Mariental Magistrate's Court to be informed of the charges she would face in the High Court in Windhoek.

“There is no law that says every person who is charged by the PG must go to court under arrest. Arrest for what? To be humiliated or what? The summons reads that she must make arrangements to appear in court, so it is just a procedure,” he said.



Noa also took a swipe at Namibians for only “making a noise but running away tail between their legs when they are expected to furnish evidence of alleged corruption.”



“There are witnesses, let them come to court and bring their evidence and not just make nose,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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