By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Two academics from the University of Namibia (Unam) accused of stealing computers from the main campus have made a brief appearance in court. Suspended Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research Geoffrey Kiangi and Manager of the Computer Centre Kaggere Suresh appeared before Magistrate Sarel Jacobs at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday afternoon. Appearing for the accused was defence counsel Slysken Makando of Conradie & Damaseb legal practitioners. The lawyer confirmed to New Era that the two were arrested at 12h00 and were granted bail after appearing in court a few hours later. The two were granted bail of N$7 000 each and their case has been remanded to August 22, 2006 for further investigations. Bail was granted on condition that the accused do not interfere with police investigations, that they report to the investigation office every Wednesday between 08h00-10h00 and 16h00-18h00. Should the investigation officer Detective Sergeant Jamuine Eslad be unavailable, the State will allow them to report at the charge office. Being foreign nationals or having foreign links, Kiangi and Suresh will have to hand in their travel documents to the investigation officer. The accused can only leave the District of Windhoek once permission is granted to them by the investigating officers. On Monday, the university announced the suspension of the two senior members of staff, on allegations of housebreaking and theft. The two are implicated in the theft of 12 computers valued at N$70 000 following a discovery by the university’s security department late Friday afternoon. Sources revealed that the two last Friday removed or caused computers to be removed out of campus. During the operation, security guards on duty saw the two loading the machines and became suspicious. They immediately alerted their bosses and the police. Police apparently secretly followed the car that was loaded with the computers. When it stopped at Kiangi’s house, the police confronted them. Internal investigations are currently underway to determine the involvement of other employees. The police also confirmed that a case of housebreaking and theft involving a number of computers was opened last Friday. Following the suspension, the university management appointed the Dean of the faculty of Education Louise Mostert as the acting Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, while matters relating to the computer centre can be referred to the office of the PVC Administration and Finance. Vice Chancellor Professor Lazarus Angula in a statement indicated that the university exercises zero tolerance towards fraud or any form of corruption and will bring to book all those involved in fraudulent activities that put the name of the institution into disrepute.
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