News and Information

15th treason suspect dies
December 7, 2009

A FORMER Government official who has for the past nine years been one of the accused in the main Caprivi high treason case died in a Windhoek hospital last week.

Mwala Macnally Mutame passed away on Wednesday, a Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu, confirmed yesterday.
Mutame was admitted to Windhoek Central Hospital at the beginning of November. He died after he had been diagnosed with cancer, other sources stated.
Mutame was 57 years old.

He is the 15th charged suspect in the main Caprivi high treason trial to die in custody. The trial is still in progress, and is now scheduled to continue in the High Court at Windhoek Central Prison from February 18. A hundred and sixteen people remain charged in the trial before Judge Elton Hoff after Mutame’s death.

With the start of the first phase of the trial in the High Court then sitting at Grootfontein on October 27 2003, there were still 121 men indicted in the case. Five more of the accused men have died in custody since then.

One person who was set to be charged in the second Caprivi high treason trial has also died in custody before the start of that trial, which has in the meantime been finalised.
Ten other high treason suspects have also died in custody before the start of the trial before Judge Hoff.

The last deaths in the ranks of the high treason accused were in August and September 2007, when treason suspects Moses Limbo Mushwena (44) and Brian Museke Mboozi (50) died. Mushwena died in a Windhoek hospital – of “natural causes”, according to the Police – while Mboozi passed away after apparently suffering a heart attack in Windhoek Central Prison.

Mutame was employed as a customs and excise officer with the Ministry of Finance when he was arrested and charged in the high treason case in mid-May 2000.
Like all of his co-accused, he has denied guilt on all of the 278 charges on which they are indicted before Judge Hoff.

The charges are based on allegations that the suspects on trial before Judge Hoff took part in a conspiracy to secede the Caprivi Region through armed means between January 1992 and the end of 2002.

In the course of the trial over the past six years, Mutame’s name has been mentioned by witnesses who claimed he had attended meetings, held at the house of exiled secessionist leader Mishake Muyongo, where the suggestion that the Caprivi Region should be seceded from Namibia was discussed.

One witness who testified in the trial also claimed that Mutame mobilised recruits to the secessionist cause in a bid to arrange that they receive military training in Angola, and suggested that supporters of the separatist cause should donate money with which firearms could be bought by the armed wing of the secessionist movement, the Caprivi Liberation Army.

Mutame’s remains were transported to the Caprivi Region over the weekend to be handed over to his family, a source also stated yesterday.


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