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Second treason trial reaches a potential turning point
November 27, 2006
Second treason trial reaches a potential turning point


THE ball will be back in the court of the 12 men accused in the second Caprivi high treason trial when they make their first appearance in the High Court in Windhoek in more than five weeks today.

On Monday, Deputy Prosecutor General Danie Small told Acting Judge John Manyarara that the State had presented the evidence of its last witness in the trial - he was the 53rd witness to have testified for the prosecution in this matter.

Since the 12 men on trial have not heard the testimony of most of the State witnesses who gave evidence in their trial, a copy of the trial record was to be delivered to them at the Windhoek Central Prison on Wednesday, Small told the court on Wednesday.

Today, the court should be informed whether the 12 - accused of being part of an alleged conspiracy to secede the Caprivi Region from Namibia between September 1998 and December 2003 - actually accepted the delivery of their trial record.

They will then be asked how they intend to proceed with the trial: whether they want any State witnesses recalled to the witness stand so that they can cross-examine them, and whether they will present any evidence in their defence to the court before Acting Judge Manyarara hears final arguments on the verdict that he has to deliver in the trial.

The last prosecution witness in the trial was again a witness whose identity may not be revealed in the media, in terms of an order that Acting Judge Manyarara granted at the State's request.

The witness told the court that he was an active member of the United Democratic Party - then a member party of the DTA - and also of the DTA from 1985 onwards.

In 1995, however, he said, he noticed that things were starting to change in the DTA in the Caprivi.

At some stage, he said, the then leader of the party, Mishake Muyongo, summoned a select group of members of the party from the Caprivi Region to his house.

Muyongo wanted to know why the party's performance was in decline, the witness said.

The meeting ended in acrimony after Muyongo announced that he had a plan of his own, the witness claimed.

Muyongo said that when he was still in exile before Namibia's Independence, there had been an agreement between his then political party, the Caprivi African National Union (Canu), Swapo and the latter's leader, Sam Nujoma, that they would be joining forces to fight as a united front for the independence of Namibia, but that the two parties would each again govern its own affairs once Namibia had gained its independence.

When one of the then senior figures in the DTA in the Caprivi, Godwin Siyongo, asked to see written proof, a heated argument broke out, which ended with Muyongo chasing the people at the meeting out of his house, the witness said.

Soon thereafter, the party's regional leadership was replaced, with Siyongo, who had dared question Muyongo, and other former regional leaders being cast aside.

In his testimony, the witness mentioned the name of only one of the 12 men who are charged in the trial.

That was Manuel Makendano, who he said was one of the additional members of the new DTA regional leadership elected after the meeting at Muyongo's house.


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