Mbok corruption trial to start in June

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Mbok corruption trial to start in June

The trial of Cameroonian-born businessman Antoine ‘Tony’ Mbok and his co-accused Daniel David Nghiwilepo is set to resume on 12 June before Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.

The judge, in conjunction with defence counsels Silas Kishi-Shakumu and Boris Isaacks, as well as State advocate Taedago Gaweseb, set the trial down for 12 to 20 June, 22 and 23 June and again from 10 to 14 July.

Mbok and Nghiwilepo already pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of corruption and money laundering in the Windhoek High Court when their trial started in 2015.

Since then, the trial has been plagued by delays due to Mbok changing lawyers, and a trial-within-a-trial to suppress recordings made by the registry clerk at the ministry of finance  Veronika Kituna Thomas.

Thomas already pleaded guilty to five counts of corruptly using her office at the ministry and her position for self-gratification at the start of the trial before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on 10 February 2012. 

She was sentenced to an effective eight years imprisonment.

After Thomas’ guilty plea, her trial was separated from that of Mbok, his company MFinance and Nghiwilepo.

Mbok, his corporation MFinance and Namibian national Nghiwilepo face charges of fraud and corruption involving N$3.9 million. 

MFinance (Pty) Limited is a duly-registered company, with Mbok as its sole director.

Mbok is the first and second accused in his capacity as the director of Mfinance, whereas Nghiwilepo is the third accused. 

A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge-sheet has it that the two men, in cahoots with Thomas, allegedly defrauded several Namibian businesses and government agencies of up to N$3.9 million in Valued Added Tax (VAT) and returns for import VAT.

The State alleges that between 25 January 2010 and 18 February 2010, five cheques, destined for the account of the ministry of finance, were intercepted and deposited into Mbok’s company account.

The affected companies and entities in the alleged fraud comprise GS Fainsinger and Associates in the amount of N$121 212.42 for VAT, as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Services/Global Fund in the amount of N$228 494.61 for employees tax. 

Another cheque for employees’ tax for the amount of N$62 905.13 allegedly made it into the coffers of Mfinance – this time from Edu-Loan (now Letshego Financial Services Namibia), instead of the ministry of finance. 

Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino was allegedly the fourth victim when a cheque for the amount of N$202 530.08 for employees’ tax was paid into the account of MFinance at Standard Bank Namibia, account no. 241611377, according to the indictment.

Another alleged victim of the alleged fraud was AfriSam Cement – defrauded for a massive N$71 million by Esmerelda Madjiedt – for which she was convicted and sentenced to 17 years for the amount of N$3 329 489.40, meant as VAT payment.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na