09 May 2016 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 09 MAY (NAMPA) - Seven persons arrested in 2008 in connection with the N.dollars 30 million Avid Investment and Social Security Commission (SSC) fraud case started giving evidence in their own defence in the High Court on Monday.
Former Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication and Swapo party politician Paulus Iilonga Kapia was the first accused to be called to testify in respect of the missing money invested between the SSC and the little-known Swapo-linked Avid Investment Asset management company in 2005.
He told High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that former acting Secretary-General of National Youth Council (NYC) and co-accused Ralph Blaauw approached him to become a director in Avid Investment.
I became a director in Avid Investment at the end of April 2004 or towards the beginning of May 2004 when my comrade and co-accused Ralph Blaauw had approached me with the request to join Avid as a director. This was done after we discussed in detail about Avid Investment, Kapia told the court.
He informed the court that Blaauw and his wife Sharon Blaauw; Avid Investment's Administrative Secretary Inez //Gases; Labour Ministry official and lawyer Otniel Podewiltz; Windhoek businessman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Namangol Asset Management Company Nico Josia were all directors in Avid Investment. Retired Namibian Defence Force (NDF) Brigadier Mathias Shiweda was a shareholder in the company.
Kapia said the leadership of the Swapo-Party Youth League (SPYL) had also acquired between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of shares in Avid Investment. These shares initially belonged to a certain James Links.
According to Kapia, he had also made some phone calls to the SSC's former chief executive officer Tuli Hiveluah between 12 and 13 January 2005 in connection with the N.dollars 30 million tender Avid Investment had submitted to SSC.
Prior to these telephone calls, he had met the SSC's Avril Green and Blaauw between 03 and 04 January 2005 at the Swapo head office in Katutura in respect of the N.dollars 30 million tender.
Kapia continues giving evidence on Tuesday.
Sisa Namandje is appearing for Kapia.
Avid Investment's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lazarus Kandara, who was believed to be the kingpin in the Avid/SCC saga, committed suicide while escorted by the police in front of the Windhoek Police Station in 2008.
Advocate Ed Marondedze, assisted by Public Prosecutor Cliff Lutibezi, represent the State.
The accused are free on bail of N.dollars 10 000 each.