Five in Avid/SSC fraud saga found guilty

11 May 2018 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAY (NAMPA) - Former Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Paulus Kapia and four other persons were on Friday found guilty in connection with the N.dollars 30 million Avid Investment and Social Security Commission (SSC) fraud scandal.
The four are Avid Investment Administrative Secretary Inez //Gases; former Acting Secretary-General of the National Youth Council (NYC) Ralph Blaauw; his wife Sharon Blaauw; and Windhoek businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Namangol Asset Management Company, Nico Josia.
High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg handed down judgment in the matter.
Liebenberg found Kapia, //Gases and Ralph guilty on the main charge of fraud for their involvement and responsibility of getting the money out of the SSC after the little-known Avid Asset Management Company had secured the investment with the state-owned company.
The trio was, however, acquitted on the charge of theft, corruption and contravention of the provisions of the amended Companies Act of 2004.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Sharon, was only found guilty of contravening the provisions of the amended Companies Act of 2004, and was acquitted on all the other remaining charges.
Josia was found guilty on a charge of theft and contravention of the provisions of the amended Companies Act of 2004 on the grounds that after the N.dollars 30 million was transferred from the SSC bank account at First National Bank of Namibia to the business account of his Namangol Asset Management company, he started dishing out money to several persons and business entities.
Josia was discharged of fraud.
Meanwhile, Labour Ministry official and lawyer Otniel Podewiltz as well as retired Namibian Defence Force Brigadier Mathias Shiweda were found not guilty of any wrong doing and were set free.
Kapia, //Gases and the Blaauw couple had their bail of N.dollars 10 000 each reinstated as per requests by their defence lawyers.
Josia was not so lucky and was sent to the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's holding cells after the court refused to entertain his request for the reinstatement of bail.
The five convicted persons return to the High Court on Monday for the fixing of the date for pre-sentencing evidence presentation.
Sisa Namandje appeared for Kapia, while Gilroy Kasper represented //Gases, the Blaauw couple and Podewiltz.
Slysken Makando appeared for Josia, while Attorney Jan Wessels appeared for Shiweda.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze assisted by State Advocates Cliff Litubezi and Salomon Kanyemba represented the state.