Namibia: Geingob Denies ‘Cover-Up’

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob says he is “confused” about how he allegedly assisted South African president Cyril Ramaphosa to conceal a robbery at his Phala Phala game farm in February 2020.

Former South African spy boss and prisons head Arthur Fraser has accused Geingob and Ramaphosa of a high-level cover-up in concealing the theft, which is believed to have been committed by a gang of Namibians living in South Africa.

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

“People were here, somebody came here illegally and was arrested, and later on he was charged, and he paid and went back to South Africa. So I do not know what favour I would have done anybody,” Geingob said at a press conference yesterday.

Fraser accused Ramaphosa of kidnapping and bribery in a case he registered with the South African Police on Wednesday.

Geingob said if he was involved in any way the evidence should be brought forth in the court case.

“This thing happened in South Africa, and there will be a court case, maybe. Let’s see what they are going to say I have done, it is a criminal case,” he said.

He went on to say he is in constant communication with 14 presidents, including Ramaphosa and Botswana’s president Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“Ever since I took office, I have been in touch with about 14 presidents. We do not go through secretaries, we just call each other like this [over the phone]. About 14 – four in the west, two in east central and in southern Africa, with Masisi daily nearly, so I am in touch with people,” he said.

Prosecutor general Martha Imalwa has said she has information that “certain money” entered Namibia amid concerns that Ramaphosa roped Geingob in to trace part of the N$60 million in cash stolen from his farm.

However, this pursuit did not go far after they did not get assistance from the South African authorities, she said.

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

“President [Ramaphosa] sought the assistance of the president of Namibia, Hage Geingob, in apprehending the suspects in Namibia,” Fraser said.

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

RAMAPHOSA’S RESPONSE

Ramaphosa has denied Fraser’s allegations of kidnapping and corruption levelled against him.

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

His office on Twitter confirmed that there was a robbery at the farm “in which the 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, the statement from his office said.

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

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

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

“I am a farmer, I am in the business of buying and selling animals . . . The sales are sometimes through cash and some through transfers. This that’s being reported was a clear business transaction of selling 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 is Namibian-born, but also has South African citizenship.

In 2020, The Namibian reported that the former general finance manager of the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor), Paulus Ngalangi, defended his decision to transport a South African Covid-19 patient, who is an alleged fugitive, from the border to Windhoek.

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

Media reports at the time said David was allegedly linked to a robbery case of N$65 million in South Africa.

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

“I was asked by a friend to collect a gentleman who was stuck with transport at Noordoewer on the Namibian side of the border,” Ngalangi said.

He said he then asked a police officer to accompany him.

“I picked up the gentleman at Noordoewer at the Engen Service Station on the Namibian side of the border and proceeded to drive 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.

Source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.