The High Court trial of former Namibian Broadcasting Corporation Director General Gerry Munyama has been postponed for close to seven months because of the withdrawal of MunyamaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s defence counsel , writes Werner Menges in The Namibian.
Following the withdrawal of Herman Oosthuizen from the trial of Munyama and a co-accused, Engelbrecht Theodor, MunyamaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s attorney, Richard Mueller, on Monday informed Judge Kato van Niekerk that he had not been able to find a replacement for Oosthuizen who would be able to become involved in the trial this month.
As a result, the trial was postponed to September 2, from when it is scheduled to continue until September 30.
Oosthuizen was set to start cross-examining the prosecutionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s first witness in the trial, former NBC Audit Manager Jakes Jacobs, on Friday when he informed Judge Van Niekerk that his mandate to represent Munyama had been terminated.
The court was not told of the reason for this move. It would also not be proper for the court to question Munyama about the reason, Judge Van Niekerk remarked on Monday when she told Munyama that his case would have to be dealt with sooner rather than later, and that it would not help him if he were to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhire and fireÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â his defence lawyers.
Munyama (53) and Theodor (43) both pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against them when their trial started on Tuesday last week.
Munyama is charged with a count of fraud, alternatively theft of N$345 995,88, and charges of forgery and uttering. Theodor is charged with a count of fraud, alternatively theft of N$244 750, as well as two additional alternative counts of theft by false pretences.
The State is alleging that Munyama used a forged extract of an NBC Board resolution to open an NBC bank account with Standard Bank Namibia in May 2005. After opening the account, on which he is claimed to have had the sole signing powers, Munyama allegedly deposited money that was due to the NBC into the account.