KEETMANSHOOP: Former Karas Chief Regional Officer (CRO) Salmaan Jacobs on Monday pleaded not guilty to five counts of corruption.“I plead not guilty to all charges, your Honour,” he told the Keetmanshoop Regional Court at the start of his trial.
Jacobs stands accused of five counts of corruption after he allegedly claimed illegal subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances to Germany in August and September 2006.He is also accused of using his position to corruptly award a catering contract on two separate occasions to Sadadi Enterprise, a close corporation in which he has 50 per cent shares.
Jacobs, who is now being represented by Willem Visser of Stern and Barnard, has been struggling to obtain finances to pay for his defence since 2008.The trial continued on Tuesday before Magistrate Sunsley Zisengwe, and will proceed for the rest of this week.
More than 10 State witnesses are expected to testify.On Monday, the Deputy Director of Human Resources (HR) at the Karas Regional Council (KRC), Sigrid Mwaala was the first to testify, and Anti-
Corruption Commission (ACC) Investigation Officer Ephraim !Nanuseb testified on Tuesday.
“During our investigations, it was seen that he (Jacobs) corruptly used his position to gain gratification in awarding the tender to a company he has shares in. The company was the highest bidder, compared to other tenderers,”!Nanuseb told the court. He added that an amount of N.dollars 39 000 was paid from the KRC for two catering tenders given to Sadadi in 2006.
Jacobs is further accused of failing to declare his interests in the catering contract, and later allegedly used his position to corruptly award the contract to that company. The remaining count stems from a payment made from the KRC account to Sadadi on the pretext that the money was meant for a community gardening project at Berseba.The total money involved in the charges amounts to more than N.dollars 50 000.Prosecutor Veiko Alexander represents the State in this case.