FORMER Education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, was this morning escorted by police officers to the administration block of the High Court holding cells where she was expected to pay her N$50 000 fine, following her sentencing in a corruption case.
Hanse-Himarwa walked away with a custodial sentence of 24 months in default of the payment of the fine. Another period of 12 months imprisonment was imposed on her, but was suspended for a period of five years on condition that she is not convicted for a similar offense.
While the courtroom was packed to capacity, outside the building, the high profile case attracted a large crowd consisting mainly of supporters of Hanse-Himarwa which also included Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
Hanse-Himarwa has throughout her trial maintained her innocence despite being found guilty earlier this year for tempering with a mass housing list.
Judge Christie Liebenberg, in his ruling, found that Hanse-Himarwa falls in the category of offenders who should be given a second chance.
The former education minister, according to the judge, did not personally benefit but her relatives who were in any event already on the mass housing list, to receive houses at a much later stage.
“Whereas a fine might be imposed, imprisonment is not the only option. A factor the court should consider is that the accused at the age of 52 has no criminal record. She has proved herself to be a productive member of society,” Judge Liebenberg found.