News and Information

Second treason trial witness steps down
October 8, 2004


THE second State witness in the Caprivi high treason trial in the High Court at Grootfontein has completed his testimony.

It took nine days in the witness stand, spread over three weeks from September 16, for Oscar Munisitwela Mwisepi to give the evidence that was concluded before Judge Elton Hoff late on Wednesday afternoon.

For the most part, Mwisepi appeared to have stood his ground as the nine defence lawyers subjected him to some six and a half days of cross-examination.

However, at times there were contradictions between his testimony in court and statements he had made to the Police.

Under cross-questioning he sometimes qualified and adjusted testimony that he had given previously, and admitted that he did not actually have first-hand knowledge of some events that he had testified about.

Mwisepi still does not know whether he has been let off the hook on the charges faced by the 120 accused.

Mwisepi is, by his own admission, in essence an accomplice of the people that he claims took part in a plan to secede the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia around 1998/99.

He may himself escape prosecution only through his testimony against them.

Just before he was excused from the witness stand on Wednesday, Judge Hoff reminded Mwisepi that he had been warned at the start of his testimony that he would escape prosecution only if he answered all questions frankly and honestly.

Judge Hoff told Mwisepi that the court would pronounce itself on that score only once it had heard all the evidence in the trial.

The Judge told Mwisepi that he would be recalled to court some time in the future to hear the court's decision in that regard.

The prosecution called its third witness to the stand yesterday morning, but immediately launched an application in which it asked Judge Hoff to order the media not to disclose this witness's identity or to publish photographs or television footage of him.


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