25 Jan 2017 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 25 JAN (NAMPA) - The trial of three businesspeople arrested in connection with fraud and other charges surrounding the B1 City property development project is set to continue in the High Court on 20 February.
Former Roads Contractor Company (RCC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kelly Nghixulifwa, Hafeni Nghinamwaami, and Anna Ndoroma on Wednesday made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review.
The decision to resume the trial was effected as per agreement reached by State Advocate Jack Eixab and defense lawyers Advocate Louis Botes, Gilroy Kasper and Silas Kishi-Shakumu in court Wednesday.
However, the trio alongside their defense lawyers will return to the High Court again on 31 January 2017 to sort out some outstanding issues in respect of the resumption of the trial.
A fourth person, businessperson David Imbili, who was initially charged in the same case, was set free on 26 March 2016 when the Office of Prosecutor-General (OPG) decided not to proceed with prosecution on fraud charges against him.
The three-remaining accused face eight main charges including corruption, fraud, theft, and money laundering.
These charges stem from the RCCs involvement in the B1 City property development project opposite the Katutura State Hospital during 2005 and 2006.
It is alleged Nghixulifwa was a shareholder in both /Ae //Gams Engineering and Cradle Investments, but apparently concealed his stake in the two companies by having his shares held in Ndoromas name.
The RCC Board of Directors was allegedly kept in the dark about Nghixulifwas stake in /Ae //Gams Engineering, in which Nghinamwaami was also a shareholder.
It is also alleged that Nghixulifwa in February 2005 signed an agreement in terms of which RCC and /Ae //Gams Engineering were to undertake the B1 City shopping complex and taxi rank development as a joint venture.
Nghixulifwa thus seemingly corruptly used his position at the RCC to buy land where the B1 City development was to take place on behalf of /Ae //Gams Engineering with RCC funds and credit facility to the amount of N.dollars 4,87 million.
He allegedly also defrauded the company by bringing managers at the parastatal and the chairperson of the RCC Board under the impression that a mortgage bond of N.dollars 4,87 million had been registered under B1 City property in RCCs favour, when in fact that had not been done.
It is also claimed in the indictment that while still employed as RCC CEO, Nghixulifwa defrauded RCC and a construction company, Murray and Roberts, in December 2004 by concealing his shareholding in Cradle Investments, and inducing RCC and Murray and Roberts to pay a facilitation fee of N.dollars 150 000 to Cradle Investments and Nghinamwaami for roles they supposedly played in construction of a new head office for the parastatal.
In fact, Nghinamwaami and Cradle Investments had not been appointed as project facilitators, and were not entitled to receive such a fee.
It is in addition suspected that Nghixulifwa used his position in the parastatal during April 2006 to have debt of N.dollars 29 954 of Cradle Investments settled with a firm of auditors with RCC funds.
In another charge, it is alleged that Nghixulifwa corruptly used his position as RCC CEO in March 2006 to have a payment of N.dollars 92 729 made with RCC funds on the home loan account of an RCC employee, Brian Nalisa, which was allegedly in arrears.
The trio is free on bail of N.dollars 60 000 each.