Windhoek Gerson Uuyuni, a former Namdeb employee had his bank and investment accounts and a bakkie forfeited to the state, after he lost an appeal in the Supreme Court. The items were temporarily seized from him in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) in August 2011. Two years ago, Gerson Uuyuni won the battle in the High Court, but the Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa appealed in the Supreme Court. The matter was heard on October 21 2014 and judgment delivered last week Thursday. In court papers, the prosecutor general pointed out that from August 2010 to March 2011, Uuyuni had made cash deposits into two bank accounts and an investment account and had bought a property valued at N$480 412 in cash. In that time, he was earning a monthly salary of N$9 500 at Namdeb. The money invested by Uuyuni had not been declared to the tax authorities, Imalwa claimed. Uuyuni in turn charged in an affidavit that the prosecutor general’s latest application was frivolous and an abuse of court process. He claimed that the appeal to the Supreme Court had no reasonable prospects of success, and is a mere delaying tactic and abuse of process. In her first application for a POCA preservation order in respect of assets of Uuyuni, Imalwa alleged that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the properties were the proceeds of unlawful activities, namely illegal diamond dealing or tax evasion and money laundering. Two years ago, Judge Harald Geier ruled that the fundamental principle forming part of Namibian law is that court proceedings should take place in open court, but this was violated when the prosecutor general obtained an interim preservation order in respect of assets belonging to Uuyuni, he ruled at the time. Although POCA provides that certain cases should be heard behind closed doors, proper reasons why that had to be done were not provided to the court when the prosecutor general applied for an interim preservation order in respect of Uuyuni’s assets, Geier found. As a result, he discharged the interim preservation order in terms of which an investment account and two bank accounts in Uuyuni’s name were in effect frozen and the police were authorised to seize Uuyuni’s Toyota Hilux bakkie. Sisa Namandje represented Uuyuni in the Supreme Court.
2015-07-06 10:41:19 3 years ago