By Anna Shilongo
The three Namibian Traffic Identification System (NaTIS) employees and two middlemen arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday made their first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The five, who appeared before magistrate Vicky Nicoladis, are Paulus Hamalwa, Jonathan Gom-Khaiseb, Hiskia Kauahita, Petrus Shaanika and Willem Ashipembe.
They stand accused of masterminding a scam in which they allegedly sold learners’ and drivers’ licences, as well as roadworthy certificates to the public by circumventing all laid down security measures and procedures at the NaTIS Testing Centre.
The accused face charges of corrupt practices in contravention of the ACC Act, section 38 of the ACC Act, that deals with bribery of public office and Section 43, corruptly using their offices or positions for self-gratification.
Most of the accused had legal representatives except for Gom-Khaiseb who informed the court that he was still looking for a lawyer.
The State remanded the case to Monday for bail applications. The accused remain in police custody. Despite Monday being set for bail applications, the accused’s lawyers indicated that they would submit their bail applications tomorrow.
The five accused were arrested after a sting operation launched by the graft-busting agency, ACC, earlier this week following an investigation by the Roads Authority.
The probe was undertaken to determine the extent to which licences were being issued irregularly.
Two of the employees were arrested while on duty, while the other employee was called back from a workshop he was attending out of town.
According to the ACC investigating officers, it took them a week-and-a-half to investigate the case of three of the employees.
The investigations found out that a number of people made use of one vehicle when they were being tested. In total, 43 people were tested on March 7, while 39 were tested on the March 6.