By Confidente Reporter
THE original charge sheet, attached to a police docket outlining the case against a Grade 10 dropout and his aunt, who are both senior officials at the Khorixas Town Council, has allegedly disappeared.
The duo made their first court appearance nearly two months ago.
The corruption charges emanate from Human Resources Officer Hannelie Eichas Mukuta’s alleged influence in the appointment of her nephew, Railious Wencher Gowaseb, as a strategic executive at the council.
Gowaseb has been in the position since 2010, and the case has been under investigation since 2015.
The two accused were arrested on 16 May, and made a brief appearance in the Otjiwarongo Regional Court shortly afterwards.
Sources at court said that case was struck off the court roll, as a result of the missing charge sheet. However, the duo has now been subpoenaed, and will make their second court appearance in August.
“It came as a shock when we learnt that the case was struck off the court roll. It emerged that the charge sheet had gone missing,” sources said.
Confidente reported earlier this year that Mukuta stands accused of using her position to shortlist her nephew, knowing that he does not meet the requirements for the post of Strategic Executive for Technical Services and Infrastructure.
They are jointly accused of conspiring to commit corruption, while Gowaseb allegedly contravened the Local Authority Act, which deals with employment contracts entered between municipal employees and councils.
A senior court official, who preferred anonymity, told Confidente this week that the original charge sheet, which appears in front of the docket, went missing. He stressed that although the case was indeed struck off the court roll, it has now been put back on.
“The magistrate struck the case off the court roll, because the accused persons cannot be charged with copied documents. The State prosecutor, however, argued against the decision, until the case was placed back on the court roll.”
In an interview almost two weeks before his arrest, Gowaseb confirmed to Confidente during a telephonic interview that he is a Grade 10 dropout, but that he is a holder of a labour diploma, which he obtained through the Labour Research and Research Institute (LaRRI) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
“I also did other courses with LaRRI in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Yes we are related, but it has got nothing to do with my appointment,” he said of his family relationship with Mukuta.
He, however, refused to comment when asked whether his aunt had influenced his shortlisting for the job. He also claimed that when he started in the post, he earned N$10 000 per month and was currently earning a salary of N$28 000.
At the time, h Mukuta said that the matter is a political witch-hunt.
“He is my sister’s son, he is my son, and because of that people think that I manipulated the system,” Mukuta.
“But there are procedures that were followed. On that shortlist were two other relatives, so this is a political witch-hunt. It is because we don’t represent the Swapo Party that they want to tarnish our image, and eventually remove us from our positions. But we don’t and never did compromise our careers.
“The post was advertised, and he was shortlisted and got the job. If they want to arrest or arraign anyone, then it should be the appointing officers, because I don’t appoint. He got that job in 2010,” Mukuta said.
“It has been seven years, and only now do they question this matter. It is a matter of jealousy and people tarnishing our reputations.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015