Following the withdrawal of Sisa Namandje in his fight against the prosecutor general’s decision to attach his properties, forex-trader-turned-activist Michael Saddam Amushelelo has now turned to the Directorate of Legal Aid to secure a new lawyer.
Namandje last week withdrew as Amushelelo’s legal representative in the matter.
Amushelelo is fighting against an application by the PG to attach his possessions as proceeds of organised crime.
Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Ramon Maasdorp, who will preside over the matter, has ordered Legal Aid to consider the application of Amushelelo and inform him of their decision no later than 10 July.
In the event Legal Aid declines to grant him legal representation, Amushelelo and his co-respondents are to start searching for private legal representation or they can represent themselves.
He ordered that the trusts and close corporations may be represented by a duly authorised trustee and member, respectively, and Amushelelo and his partner Gregory Cloete may represent themselves.
In that event, the judge said, they may formally apply for a postponement of the matter on or before 12 July. The judge further ordered the prison authorities, where Amushelelo is incarcerated, to take all reasonable steps to assist him.
Prosecutor general Martha Imalwa is seeking a forfeiture order for various assets, bank accounts and properties belonging to Amushelelo and Cloete, as well as a vehicle belonging to his wife, Taimi Amushelelo.
In the forfeiture application, the prosecution is stating there are reasonable grounds that the properties are proceeds of unlawful activities, such as fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering.
Amushelelo and Cloete, four close corporations, a company and a trust controlled by Amushelelo have already been charged criminally.
Amushelelo is facing 365 counts, while Cloete is charged with 360 of the counts.
These charges range from fraud, alternatively theft by false pretences, conducting banking business without authorisation and conducting a Ponzi scheme, tax evasion, tax fraud, failure to pay tax, money laundering and racketeering.
The matter in which they face more than 330 counts of contravening the Banking Act was referred back to the mentions roll for another judge to be assigned to the matter.
Also charged are legal entities Amushe Hello Investment, Amushe Advertising & Design, Amushe International Holding, Van Der Walt Trailer Manufacturing, Amushelelo Family Trust T187/2019 and Global Growth Investment Namibia – all represented by Amushelelo as founder and sole member.
The charges are 348 counts of fraud, alternatively theft by false pretences, conducting a banking business without authorisation and conducting a Ponzi scheme, tax evasion, tax fraud, failure to pay tax, money laundering and racketeering.
All in all, the accused faces 365 counts.
According to the charge sheet, Amushelelo and Cloete worked in a partnership, collaboration and/or in collusion with one another in a fraudulent enterprise, formulated and operated as a Ponzi scheme.