Khorixas Mayor Tryphosa Moloto, 32, is guilty of forgery, the town’s Magistrate’s Court ruled on Monday. She was fined N$4000, or alternatively two years in jail.
Moloto pleaded guilty last week to charges of forgery and uttering after it was discovered that she had faked her qualifications to apply for a job at the Ministry of Education’s regional office at Khorixas. She landed the job of administrative assistant for adult education, using a fake qualification, the court ruled.
Prosecutor Charly Iyambo said yesterday that Moloto set a bad example to Grade 12 learners that if they do not make it they can forge their way to success. “This is one of the regions with the lowest pass rates in the country, and if a public office bearer commits such acts it sends a message that forging is acceptable. The accused has set a bad precedent that if things do not go well, people can resort to forging documents,” Iyambo said.
During the mitigation of sentence, Moloto pleaded for leniency from the court, saying she is currently unemployed and has five children to look after. Only one of the five children is biologically hers, she told the court.
She said her only income is the allowance she gets from Khorixas Town Council as mayor. Moloto served as deputy mayor until she was elected as mayor of Khorixas in 2012.
Even before she was contacted by this publication for comment after yesterday’s trial, she sent a text to New Era’s Khorixas-based freelance reporter Clemans Miyanicwe, saying: “Skryf wat jy wil!” (Write what you want!).”
The Director of Education in the Kunene Region, Simon Tsuseb, refused to comment on the matter, saying only that Moloto has already resigned from the education ministry. It is understood that Moloto worked for less than a month at the regional education office before tendering her resignation.
UDF central committee member and secretary for transport affairs, Pieter Kausiona, said the party would not take any action against Moloto because the case had nothing to do with the party. “This issue is a personal matter and has nothing to do with the UDF. She [Moloto] even admitted and took the blame, which shows that she is an honest person,” Kausiona said.
He further said the party’s top leaders must focus on national issues, such as the use of electronic voting machines (EVM’s), land, corruption and drought, rather than dealing with petty issues.
“I don’t see a reason why our national leaders have to deal with this as there are issues of national importance,” he said. However, a source within the UDF central committee told this publication that a meeting was held in Windhoek with party president Apius !Auchab to discuss Moloto’s future in the party.
“She (Moloto) must go, since the scandal taints the image of our party. She is protected by some senior leaders, but that will not happen,” the party official said.
Efforts to get hold of !Auchab proved futile yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered and he did not respond to a text message sent to his number. His deputy, Dudu Murorua, could also not be reached for comment.
The party’s top two told New Era last week that they would wait for the case against Moloto to be finalised before deciding on the way forward.