Yang Fan, Kongo Mokaxwa and Teckla Lameck
The N$120 million that was at the centre of the fraud case of former Public Service Commission boss, Teckla Lameck and her two other accomplices has left a bad taste in the mouth of Namibians after the three were let go by the High Court.
Lawyers, civil rights activists and researchers that spoke to Eagle FM have frowned at the fact that Lameck, her co-accused Kongo Mokaxwa and Yang Fan had to be declared innocent on a technical point.
Director at the Citizens for an Accountable and Transparent Society (CATS) Carola Engelbrecht expressed that the Judge should not have based his ultimate ruling on technical points but should have allowed the case to go down to the root of the missing millions.
“It’s really shocking, I am upset about the courts that they go about technical issues and not the substance. I understand the prosecutor for the state did not have all the necessary proof. That is very sad. This case has been going on for 10 years, how can you not get the facts together. The same judge that was with Katrina Hanse Himarwa, I don’t know what is going on there, whether there is any political influence, we don’t understand. Honestly not,” she said.
She said the judgement does not set the right precedent in the fight against corruption.
Yet former prosecutor and constitutional law expert, Nico Horn countered saying the Judge had to act based on the evidence presented before him, despite concerns expressed by members of the public.
“I think the problem is we have a very specific legal system, you need to prosecute a person for a crime that you have evidence for. I was a prosecutor myself in the High Court for seven years. If you go to court with the wrong case, in the Roman-Dutch System, you need to prove the elements of the crime,” said the Professor.
The absence of evidence and improper charges drafted by the State has been frowned upon by research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Frederico Links saying it all pointed to an incapacitated prosecution authority and investigating unit.
“For me, the prosecutors and the ACC have some questions to answer about how this case collapsed. They need to explain how it is that the warrants that were issued were problematic and evidence was tossed out based on the problematic nature of these warrants. So, this just points to prosecutorial and law enforcement failure once again and these failures leading to a high profile corruption case being tossed out of court and the implicated parties walking scot-free. ,” said Links.
The former commissioner at the Public Service Commission, Lameck and two others have been found innocent by High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg after 11 years of battling corruption charges.
The PG’s office is incapacitated as far as investigations are concerned to deal with the complexities of financial fraud and corruption cases, said Links.
“It’s a very serious concern,” he added.
Lameck et al were cleared of all their 18 charges together with business partner Kongo Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yan Fan.
They were accused of having committed fraud involving about N$120 million in a deal to purchase scanners for the Ministry of Finance some years ago.