Treason acquitted sues for N$30.4 million
In a bizarre twist of events the defence counsel for a former teacher acquitted on high treason charges after the state closed its case is the second former treason accused who wants the court to allow them to use one of the prosecutors in the treason trial to their advantage.
After the government team opted not to call former deputy prosecutor general Taswald July, the defence counsel for Rosco Matengu Makapa who wants N$30.4 million from the state in damages wants the court to allow them to use July in their civil suit against the state for malicious prosecution and unlawful detention, among others.
The government team has opposed the application.
Makapa is claiming the money from the state for damages he says he suffered during the 4 916 days he was incarcerated on treason charges amongst 277 other charges.
He was exonerated on a Section 174 discharge in February 2013 after the state closed it case in 2012.
According to Makapa he was employed as a teacher at the Ministry of Education since 1996 and earned a monthly salary of N$3 870 and was a member of the GIPF to which he paid monthly contributions. He said he was also the owner of 20 head of cattle with a value of N$14 000 and a herd of 16 goats with a value of N$2 400 as well as a vehicle worth N$60 000.
He now claims loss of employment and income in the amount of N$603 379 and loss of his membership of GIPF in the amount of N$228 271.68.
He further claims damages including humiliation and degradation, injury to his self-esteem and to his reputation, deprivation of his freedom, discomfort and inconvenience suffered in the amount of N$29 496 million.
He further claims loss of his cattle and goats and their prospective growth in the amounts of N$28 000 and N$4 800 respectively.
The lawsuit is presided over by newly appointed Acting Judge Philanda Christiaan and was instituted by Clive Kavendji on behalf of Makapa. The judge already heard the lawsuit of Richwell Kulisesa Mahupelo and indicated she will deliver her judgment on it in February next year.
Makapa is suing the Minister of Safety and Security, the Prosecutor General and the Government of the Republic of Namibia for unlawful detention and malicious prosecution. He claims that he was arrested on August 29, 1999 without a warrant and was detained unlawfully since then until his release in February 2013.
He further claims he was maliciously prosecuted since September 09, 2008, when the state closed its case against him and the evidence against him could not sustain a conviction, but was intentionally kept in prison with the hope that further evidence against him would come up.
He claims his trial was unconstitutional as it was too long.
He is being represented by Advocate Andrew Corbett SC assisted by Uanisa Hengari.
The state represented by Advocate Ishmael Semenya SC assisted by Nixon Marcus is denying the allegations.
According to them the prosecution was the result of compelling evidence that needed to be tested in a court of law. The prosecutor general denies that she was derelict in her duty to secure the release of Makapa after realising she does not have sufficient evidence to convict.
According to the PG, neither she nor her employees had knowledge all evidence that could have implicated Makapa was presented at the close of the state’s case against him.