Mariental-The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa made a routine appearance in the Mariental Magistrate’s Court yesterday, facing one count of corruption that arises from accusations that when she was Hardap governor she allocated houses to her relatives.
The case was transferred to the Windhoek High Court that will convene for a pre-trial hearing on June 21.
Hanse-Himarwa is charged with corruption for allegedly using her office or position for gratification when she was the governor of Hardap Region.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alleges she corruptly placed relatives on a list of housing beneficiaries at Mariental. She replaced some original beneficiaries so that her relatives would
The education minister responded in the affirmative when asked by Magistrate Anna Kruger if she was aware of the charge she faces.
Kruger then informed her that the matter will be transferred to the High Court in Windhoek, and warned her to appear on the set court date, failure of which she would have a warrant of arrest issued against her.
The court further ordered that a complete record of proceedings be forwarded by the Mariental clerk of court to the High Court in Windhoek.
Although she appeared without her lawyer Sisa Namandje, family members and friends gathered at court to support her, with Hardap Governor Esme Isaack (who succeeded Hanse-Himarwa in that position) and National Council Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams, among those at court to give her moral support.
Hanse-Himarwa, who denied the corruption allegations in a statement last week, stood in the dock with a smile on her face as she waited for proceedings to begin, and although she shied away from the cameras for a second, she appeared not to be bothered much, asking photographers, ‘Do you want some more?’
The education minister, a resident of Mariental, left the court again all smiles, in the company of a supportive army of family and friends, and even spared a moment to pose for pictures by journalists, as her ministerial Mercedes Benz, parked alongside other government vehicles, waited for her.