Ongwediva-The Oshakati Magistrate’s Court sentenced three interpreters and a police officer to jail terms ranging between two and four years each for corruptly using their offices for gratification last Thursday.
Thirty-eight-year-old Juuso Matheus was sentenced to four years with a year suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within a period of five years. He was found guilty of using his office or position for gratification.
Three officers of the court, 44-year-old Helvi Hamukoto, Gervasius Hidimokanya and 33-year-old Shithigona Savelia Ndeutenge, were each sentenced to two years with a suspended sentence of six months, on condition they do not commit similar offences within a period of five years after the three were found guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
According to court records, Matheus had solicited N$2,600 from a witness to settle an outstanding fine, but did not honour the agreement. The exchange of the money was done at the court premises in Matheus’ office.
“His conduct was thus purposefully planned and cunningly executed, for he never paid the N$2,600 for the ticket and to date it is not known what he actually used the money for, as the ticket remained unpaid,” Konjore remarked during sentencing.
Hamukoto, Hidimokanya and Ndeutenge were implicated in the matter after cornering the girlfriend of the witness in Hamukoto’s office, where they attempted to persuade her that her boyfriend should not positively identify Matheus when requested to do so. Thereafter, Hamukoto took down the number of the girlfriend and on numerous occasions contacted her to enquire whether she was in agreement with the proposed deal to not reveal Matheus’ identity.
The interpreters and police officer were stationed at Oshakati Magistrate’s Court. It was in the same court that Magistrate Unchen Konjore sentenced them last week.
The four were arrested on July 23, 2014 and have been out on bail of N$1,000 each.