Namibia

Former payment officer sued after Namibian national student funds go missing

When money in a Namibian national student assistant fund went missing, siphoned off into the bank accounts of someone who was not registered as a beneficiary of the fund, alarm bells rang. An internal investigation pointed to a payments officer being responsible for the fraud, but he resigned before a disciplinary hearing could be finalised. The fund then sued the former employee and this case has begun in the high court, Namibia.

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Of all people in need of help, students dependent on grants must be among the most vulnerable. So, when someone is alleged to have stolen from the fund that underwrites students’ studies and their living expenses, the resulting case ought to cause more than usual interest and curiosity.

Namibian judge calls out police, army, impunity for assaults on the public

The Namibian police – long criticised for arbitrary brutality towards members of the public – have come in for some strong rebukes in a new decision by the high court. Dealing with the damages claim of a woman who was assaulted in an incident where she merely came out of her home to see the cause of a commotion, the court has slammed an ‘intolerable’ situation involving ‘prevalent’ assaults by police and members of the defence force on members of the public in Namibia.

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The case of Jane Owoses might cause outsiders to scratch their heads because of the assault she suffered at the hands of police, for no good reason. But for those who live in Namibia, or who read the judgments of the courts there, it’s part of a long line of cases involving police who act violently towards members of the public and who are never held individually accountable, even when the case results in a damages award.

Congolese woman convicted and sentenced for smuggling immigrants into Namibia

A former refugee from Congo has been found guilty on three charges relating to smuggling immigrants into Namibia. Abigail Bashala, who gave the court a list of illnesses with which she is afflicted as part of her evidence in mitigation, took money from desperate people to help them get into Namibia and to travel to Canada, though the flights to Canada never materialised. The court found she was part of a syndicate that preyed on people desperate to escape from war and start a new life.

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