Ongwediva-Magistrate Helvi Shilemba on Wednesday sentenced Mennonite pastor Pedro Marcelino Moussongela to nine years direct imprisonment on three counts of fraud, forgery and uttering, as well as a fine of N$16,000. Magistrate Helvi Shilemba sentenced Moussongela to three years on each of the first three counts and N$4,000 or 16 months imprisonment on each of the remaining four counts.
Shilemba ordered that five years and three months run consecutively with the sentenced imposed on the first three counts if the convict defaults to pay the fine.
Moussongela was convicted of all seven counts last week after pleading guilty in the Eenhana Magistrate’s Court.
Moussongela was sentenced for bringing Angolan children into the country and registering them with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration as his own, and further declaring their mothers to be deceased and as such he was a single parent.
Moussongela further admitted to employing four foreign teachers at his school without work permits, at his Mennonite Community School in Omafo.
Moussongela, who throughout his trial at Ondangwa, maintained his school cannot function without him, is yet to hear his fate on other serious charges of trafficking four of his children to England and six stepchildren to South Africa, and charges of rape and incest he faces in Windhoek.
He further faces a case of human trafficking, rape and abortion in Ondangwa and a case of human trafficking, fraud and forgery in Ohangwena.
Moussongela, who was not represented during his trial at Eenhana, and his wife Ndamonghenda Penehafo Pedro, pleaded with the court to impose a lenient sentence to allow him to continue to operate the school because it is in a mess.
However, the prosecutor Brighton Sililo Mwala objected to a lenient sentence, saying the school has been functioning despite the accused being in custody since his arrest on June 24 last year.
Human rights activist Phil ya Nangolo during the mitigation of sentence hearing also appealed to the court to impose a severe sentence on the accused.