A charcoal farmer in the vicinity of Grootfontein, Simon ‘Small Boss’ Tuhafeni, was rearrested on fresh charges for keeping foreign nationals in the country illegally. He appeared in the Grootfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where he was granted bail of N$3 000 and his case remanded to 4 November for further investigations.
Tuhafeni was charged for contravening section 56 (a) and section 56 (3) (a) of the Immigration Control Act of 1993. The Act states that no person aids or abets any person entering or remaining in Namibia in contravention of the Act, knowing that such a person is prohibited from entering or remaining in Namibia. The Act further states that no person shall employ or continue to employ any person who is in the country in contravention of the provisions of the Act.
Based on that, Tuhafeni was arrested in connection with using and employing Angolan migrants at his charcoal producing farm. His arrest comes more than a week after he had disposed of 41 Angolan nationals, including women and children, at the Grootfontein police office, allegedly stating that he stumbled upon illegal immigrants – while in essence, they were his employees.
About a fortnight ago, Small Boss was arrested and also released on bail of N$3 000 after appearing in the same court over allegations of assault, pointing of a firearm as well as theft. On those charges, his case was remanded to 4 October for further police investigations.
Tuhafeni, whose alleged harebrained scheme backfired, was drawing into trouble with the law, after three of his former Angolan employees opened cases of assault, threatening through pointing of a firearm, as well as theft.
It is alleged that the complainants demanded payment for work done but Tuhafeni refused to pay them, leading to the ugly spat. About 12 Angolan migrants are still in police custody pending their court appearances – while their wives and children, who total 31, are still accommodated at Grootfontein showgrounds, where they are living at the mercy of the public giving them food parcels.