Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – Walvis Bay-based pastor Kaetanus Shilimela, who is accused of defrauding several women of N$700 000 through alleged fraudulent activities, has denied all charges against him on Friday.
Shilimela, who is also referred to as ‘Atomic Bomb’, applied for bail on Friday in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court through his lawyer Johanna Koekemoer following his arrest and subsequent appearance on charges related to fraud and money laundering.
Shilimela is facing five counts of fraud and charges of theft under false pretence, and he is also charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime (POCA) for allegedly acquiring proceeds through unlawful activities and money laundering.
However, Shilimela on Friday denied all the charges during his bail application, saying the legal system will reveal the truth.
“I have been informed that I have committed various counts of theft and fraud under false pretences. I vehemently deny the aforesaid allegations in the strongest terms,” Shilimela, who is part of the Internal Glory Ministry, said in his bail application.
He also explained he has no desire to abscond if granted bail due to the current travel regulations in terms of Covid-19. Shilimela also said he will not want to put his mother, who is a police officer, in a predicament, as she will be paying for his bail.
“In addition to that, my mother and I are the only breadwinners – and with my incarceration, the sole responsibility has been placed on my mother’s shoulders. My family is currently struggling,” he said. Shilimela and co-accused Lukas Showa and Hinomtu Simon Shilongo are all accused of defrauding several women between September and December last year.
One of their victims lost N$425 000 she had inherited from her father after the pastor allegedly convinced her to pay money into his account, as well as giving cash to Shilimela, amounting to N$425 000.
Crime investigations coordinator for Erongo Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu earlier said Shilimela allegedly pretended he owned a company and was selling some of his shares, resulting in the woman and other victims buying into the alleged scam.
The other four women invested between N$15 000 to N$75 000 each.
“None of them signed any documents or had lawyers involved and police now suspect that the pastor used them and money for his personal needs. The alleged scam is said to have taken place between August and September last year,” he said.
Shilongo and Showa are expected to apply for bail this week.
All three are currently in police custody, while the ruling for their bail applications is set for 9 September.