Kora hearing stinks of suspicion

08 October 2019 | Columns

The decision to have the hearing dealing with the lost Kora music award millions held “in-camera” - to the extent that the public, including the media, can’t follow the proceedings - only heightens suspicions in the matter.

Maybe there exists a genuine legal justification for this unorthodox decision, but unless it’s explained publicly, the likely perception by many would be unfavourable.

Since last week, Namibian Sun went to great lengths to try and seek answers from stakeholders relevant to this matter, but we were sent from pillar to post by nearly each one of them.

We are hesitant to make hasty conclusions, such as that the courts are now bowing to whims of people outside their own jurisdiction, but if this secrecy persists it would be hard to resist such tempting conclusions.

With the approach chosen by the court in this hearing, the nation is starved of detailed truths in one of the biggest scandals of our time. The lost N$23.5 million belongs, after all, to the nation.

Transparency, especially where public resources are alleged to have been misappropriated, is non-negotiable. Our country has come a long way to place itself on the map of transparency globally, but secrecy such as this can only reverse our gains in this regard.

The world, being a global village, is watching each one of our steps. With this in mind, we have to tread carefully, especially on matters that demand not only action but also steps against whoever is found to have dipped their filthy hands in our national coffers.

We put it to the judicial authorities to come forth with a plausible reason for their decision to hide the proceedings from the public eye.

Else, the long-standing reputation of our courts as independent and uncompromised institutions may fade away like Ernst Adjovi, who did not step on Namibian soil since the scandal surfaced three years ago. Over to you, the judiciary!

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