IN THE HIGH COURT OF NAMIBIA
In the matter between:
RAUL NARCISO ENVANGERISTA MUROTWA
MULLER, J et SILUNGWE, AJ
The accused, who appeared in Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court on a charge of theft, was convicted as charged and sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.
When the matter came to this Court on automatic review, the following query was directed at the presiding magistrate:
In response, the presiding magistrate conceded thus:
The explanation that the accused’s answer “was in the affirmative” sounds incredible. The question is: how on earth can a presiding magistrate make such a grave mistake? I find the Magistrate’s explanation mind-boggling. As the record clearly shows, a plea of not guilty should have been entered. It follows that both conviction and sentence cannot be allowed to stand.
It is, therefore, ordered:
The conviction and sentence are set aside.
The matter is remitted to the presiding magistrate for him to proceed in terms of section 112(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Act, Ac 51 of 1977.