FNB clash with Workers Revolutionary Party over “rogue account”

22 Aug 2018 16:50pm

FNB Namibia has brought an urgent court application seeking relief against two of the Workers Revolutionary Party’s (WRP) leaders for allegedly making damaging statements about it.

WRP’s secretary, Hewat Beukes and his wife Erica are in the middle of a storm in which the two have claimed that a fraudulent bank account was opened at FNB in the party’s name in August of 2017. 

 In his answering affidavit, Hewat says this was a criminal violation of the Electoral Act of 2014, the Financial Intelligence Act of 2012, the banking laws in general and banking practice and the process was done without identification and the prerequisites of these laws.

He also claims that this destroyed the security of the party’s account at Standard Bank.

Said he, It was bound to supervise the transactions and report them to the Financial Intelligence Centre if suspicious or/and exceeded certain amounts, it had to notify the Electoral Commission on such transactions. It did not do any of the above things. Itself was instrumental in the siphoning of funds from the Treasury.”

In FNB’s founding affidavit, it seeks the court to stop the duo from making further defamatory statements on websites and social media and especially at an upcoming demonstration to be held in Windhoek, Tsumeb and Rundu on August the 24th

“The applicant further seeks an order that the first and second respondents be interdicted and restrained from instigating and/or encouraging other persons to make and/or publish and/or distribute any such similar defamatory statements,” says the bank. 

In as far as protecting the duo’s freedom of expression, the bank has said such is not totally unrestrained and that, “The law and the Namibian Constitution do not allow the unjustified savaging of a corporation’s or an individual’s reputation”.

The bank alleges that Beukes and his wife have vented their anger against its Chief Executive Officer by making allegations of criminality including theft, fraud and corruption as well as alleging that the applicant is involved in “criminal schemes” and conducting “criminal operations in Namibia” and is part of the “organised criminal ring of Katjavivi and Schlettwein”. 

Meanwhile, Beukes and wife claim that N$7.6 million from treasury has seen its way into the rogue account with a specific intention to syphon N$9.5 million of public money.

FNB has come out to say that proper procedures were followed in opening this account and cited that upon investigations, they realised that the issue of the account was emerging due to factions within the party wrestling over control of funds. 

Two of the party’s parliamentarians, Benson Poniso Kapaala and Salmon Fleermuys, despite attempts to recall them, were said to be aware of funds being channeled via treasury and directed for private use.

 The Villager has as of late reported that according to Beukes, the speaker of parliament was implicated, although he has since denied it beginning of this year. 

From FNB’s founding affidavit, it appears that Katjavivi has not taken lightly his being dragged into the mud and lashed back at a media report accusing him and the finance minister of “abusing WRP to steal N$9.6 million”.

He in turn said the party needs to be “legally called to order, with legal costs, so that their irresponsible misconduct can be stopped henceforth”.

 Erica has come out to claim that Katjavivi desires her “punishment for raising their theft of Public money, (which was published by the ACC and a number of daily newspapers)”. 

Hewat has claimed that FNB is seeking to muzzle them in future via a court order citing that, “It is a nullity and relief is seeking an abuse of court”.  

“FNB (the applicant) has not served court papers on the Workers Revolutionary Party (third respondent). It falsely indicates the National Assembly as its physical address whilst the registered address is 4479 Dodge Avenue Khomasdal.”

“No urgency in any event exists as respondents have been expressing their objections against the conduct of FNB since 2003. Hewat and Erica Beukes (two respondents) are not planning a ‘mass demonstration’ as is falsely claimed by the FNB (applicant).”

“It is not first and second respondents who intend to campaign against the criminal actions of FNB (the applicant), it is the Workers Revolutionary Party which is being abused in the most unacceptable manner imaginable by using its name to defraud public money through the Treasury,” he slammed.

In his attempts to throw out the application he said it seeks to criminalise fundamental rights while the relief being sought is outside the jurisdiction of the Namibian Courts.