Constant dollars

Namibia: Geingob denies any “concealment” – allAfrica.com

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob says he is “confused” about how he allegedly helped South African President Cyril Ramaphosa cover up a theft at his Phala Phala game farm in February 2020.

Former South African spy and head of prisons Arthur Fraser has accused Geingob and Ramaphosa of covering up the theft, which was allegedly carried out by a gang of Namibians living in South Africa.

In a 48-page witness statement, Fraser alleged that criminals, mostly Namibians, broke into the Ramaphosa farm in Limpopo province to steal more than US$4 million (about N$60 million ) hidden in furniture.

“People were here, someone came here illegally and was arrested, and later he was charged, and he paid and went back to South Africa. So I don’t know what favor I would have done for someone,” Geingob said at a press conference. yesterday.

Fraser has accused Ramaphosa of kidnapping and bribery in a case he filed with South African police on Wednesday.

Geingob said if he was involved in any way, the evidence would have to be presented as part of the trial.

“This thing happened in South Africa, and there may be a court case. Let’s see what they say I did, it’s a criminal case,” he said. .

He went on to say that he was in constant communication with 14 presidents including Ramaphosa and Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“Since I took office, I have been in contact with about 14 presidents. We do not go through secretaries, we just call each other that [over the phone]. About 14 – four in the west, two in east-central and southern Africa, with Masisi almost every day, so I’m in touch with people,” he said.

Attorney General Martha Imalwa said she had information that “some funds” had entered Namibia, fearing that Ramaphosa had enlisted Geingob to track down some of the 60 million Namibian dollars stolen from his farm.

However, that pursuit did not go far after they failed to get help from South African authorities, she said.

According to Fraser, Ramaphosa asked Geingob to help track down the suspects in Namibia using unofficial channels.

“President [Ramaphosa] requested the assistance of the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, to apprehend the suspects in Namibia,” Fraser said.

“The mere fact that Ramaphosa hid large sums of undisclosed foreign currency in the form of US dollars in his furniture at his Phala Phala residence is prima facie evidence of money laundering,” he said.

RAMAPHOSA’S RESPONSE

Ramaphosa has denied Fraser’s kidnapping and bribery allegations made against him.

“There is no basis for the allegations of criminal conduct,” Ramaphosa said.

His office on Twitter confirmed that there had been a robbery at the farm “in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen”.

The president, who was not in South Africa at the time, reported the incident to the police’s Presidential Protection Unit, according to the statement from his office.

He “stands ready to cooperate with any law enforcement investigation of these matters,” he said.

At an African National Congress (ANC) conference in Limpopo, Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing.

“I have not been involved in any criminal conduct,” he said.

“I am a farmer, I am in the business of buying and selling animals…Sales are sometimes made in cash and others by transfers. What is reported was a clear commercial transaction of sale of animals. ‘animals,’ he said.

FARM HEIST

Fraser named the Namibian suspects in his statement: Umbanus Lomboleni Shaumbwako, Petrus Fikeipo Muhekeni, Erkki Shikongo, Petrus Afrikaner and Immanuel David, who was born in Namibia but also has South African citizenship.

In 2020, The Namibian reported that the former Chief Financial Officer of the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor), Paulus Ngalangi, defended his decision to transport a South African Covid-19 patient, who is a suspected fugitive, from the border at Windhoek.

Ngalangi was accused of helping David travel from the south to Windhoek.

According to media at the time, David was linked to a N$65 million theft case in South Africa.

Ngalangi, who served as chief executive of Fishcor in 2020, issued a statement to the media after the incident in which he denied any wrongdoing.

“A friend asked me to pick up a man who was stuck with transport in Noordoewer on the Namibian side of the border,” Ngalangi said.

He says he then asked a policeman to accompany him.

“I picked up the gentleman from Noordoewer at the Engen gas station on the Namibian side of the border and drove to Windhoek,” Ngalangi said.

An investigation by The Namibian and its South African partners amaBhungane points to a major cover-up of the 2020 theft.