NO.: CR 174/07
THE HIGH COURT OF NAMIBIA
In the matter
COURT REVIEW CASE NO.: 149/07)
The accused was tried and convicted of housebreaking with intent to
steal and theft by the Magistrate, Opuwo. He was sentenced to N$600
or 6 months imprisonment.
record does not make sense in several instances. After the State
case was closed, the accused is recorded to say:
do not wish to say anything in my defence what the witness has said
is true. That is my defence. I will speak in English and I am 50
 The last
sentence seems to have been inserted at some later stage with a
different pen. (The magistrate denies this). Then the prosecutor
proceeds to cross-examine the accused, although the latter did not
elect to testify and was apparently not sworn in. The magistrate
concedes that this was an irregularity.
the accused's address in mitigation of sentence the following is
- we do not have objections to the State proceeding to take
am guilty as charged
today. There are no PCs. Court
finds accd:- Guilty as charged.
explains mitigation." (my underlining)
 Although it
seems that the underlined words were inserted at a different stage in
the handwritten record, the magistrate denies this. The magistrate
states that "PCs" stands for "previous convictions"
and concedes that the prosecutor should not have been allowed to deal
with the accused's previous convictions or lack thereof before the
verdict on the merits of the case.
magistrate further concedes that the accused's rights to
cross-examination were not explained. This is a further
 Although it
would appear from what the accused said that his rights after the
closure of the State case were explained, this fact nor the contents
of the explanation was recorded.
the magistrate in his response to my query states, "the record
of proceedings is in a shambles".
think there is no alternative but to order that the proceedings are
VAN NIEKERK, J