• April 4th, 2020

Ruling on disputed recordings in Mbok case ‘complicated’

Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo postponed the ruling in a trial within a trial regarding disputed recordings obtained by the Anti-Corruption Commission of conversations between former acting MD of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Daniel Nghiwilepo and a former registry clerk at the finance ministry to 15 June because of the complexity of issues raised. 

According to the judge, the defence of Nghiwilepo raised several issues of constitutional importance which makes it necessary for him to make a detailed assessment of all the assessments raised. 
He said that lawyer Louis Botes who represents Nghiwilepo on instructions of Boris Isaacs raised an important issue, which could result in the outright dismissal of the case against Nghiwilepo and Cameroonian-born businessman Antoine ‘Tony’ Mbok (38). 

Mbok, his corporation MFinance and Namibian national, Nghiwilepo faces 10 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering involving N$3.9 million. 

The recordings were made by the 39-year-old Veronika Kituna Thomas, who on instructions of the ACC also admitted that she stole several cheques meant for the Ministry of Finance and gave them to Nghiwilepo. 

This essentially meant that she acted as an agent for the ACC, Botes argued and said this is against the ACC Act and the constitution. He further told the court that this conduct of the ACC officials are a blatant disregard of the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy and argued that this alone is a cause for a summary dismissal of all charges. 

The State alleges that between January, 25, 2010 and February, 18, 2010, five cheques destined for the account of the Ministry of Finance were intercepted and deposited into Mbok’s company’s account.
The affected companies and entities in the alleged fraud comprises GS Fainsinger and Associates (N$121 212.42), the Ministry of Health and Social Services / Global Fund (N$228 494.61, Edu-Loan (now Letshego Financial Services Namibia) (N$62 905.13), Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino (N$202 530.08), Afrisam Cement (N$3 329 489.40). Both pleaded not guilty to the charges at the start of their trial in 2015.  

Thomas pleaded guilty to five counts of corruptly using her office at the Ministry of Finance and her position for self-gratification at the start of the trial before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on 10 February 2012 and was sentenced to an effective eight years imprisonment. She was released in 2018. 

Thomas informed Judge Ndauendapo that after she became a born-again Christian in 2010, she approached the ACC to help her gather evidence against Nghiwilepo to prove her allegations against him. 
“I wanted to stand for the truth,” she stated. According to her, after Nghiwilepo called her towards the end of March, 2010 and told her to “desist and lie” when the ACC questions her, she called Justine Namukwambi at the ACC and asked her to give her something to prove that it was “Daniel” who was behind it all and made her do “this thing”.

Roland Routh
2020-02-21 08:13:32 | 1 months ago

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