Ex-Sports Commission employees in court for fraud

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Former Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) employees Walter Haseb and Ivonne Pihonge Nande made their first appearance in court yesterday for allegedly misappropriating N$4.9 million from NSC coffers for self-gratification.

Haseb, who was employed as the commission’s acting chief administrator, and former development officer Nande are facing a charge of corruptly using their positions or office for gratification.

The two were arrested on Tuesday following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission into funds that could not be accounted for during their time at the NSC offices in General Murtalla Mohammed Avenue.

According to the substantial evidence in the charge sheet, it is alleged that during the period of 2016, Haseb and his co-accused, while they were employed by the NSC, misappropriated N$4,965,542.75 from the Commission and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture.

The prosecution alleges the pair directly or indirectly and corruptly used their position for gratification.

The two did not get bail as the State strongly opposed the idea, reasoning the investigations are still at an infant stage and it would not be in the best interest of justice as the offences are of a serious nature.

Nande resigned from her position last week before her arrest while Haseb had resigned from his plum position in November last year.

According to the daily The Namibian, the money in question was meant to subsidise the financially struggling sports federation between 2015 and 2016.

If found guilty, the two could face up to 25 years behind bars or a fine not exceeding N$500,000.

Magistrate Venessa Stanely postponed the case to August 18 for a formal bail application and October 20 for further investigations.

Attorneys Vetu Uanivi and Kadhila Amoomo represented the accused with Joseph Andreas prosecuting for the State.

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