WINDHOEK,12 JUN – The irresponsible actions of the five people found guilty in the N$30 million Avid Investment and Social Security Commission (SSC) fraud scandal caused the disappearance of the money, said Deputy Prosecutor Ed Marondedze.
Today, while addressing the court on what type of sentences should be handed down in the trial, Marondedze added that the they never attempted to safeguard or invest the money in the interests of the Namibian people when they secured the public funds from the State-owned SSC for investment purposes.
The five convicts are former Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Paulus Kapia; Avid Investment Administrative Secretary, Inez //Gases; former Acting Secretary-General of the National Youth Council, Ralph Blaauw; his wife, Sharon Blaauw and Windhoek businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Namangol Asset Management Company, Nico Josea.
Marondedze asked the court to give them the same treatment when they are sentenced.
“Their actions led to the disappearance of the money. They failed to invest the money as per the representation they made to SCC… These people should not be treated differently from one another when the court decides on the type of sentences to hand down in the matter,” he said.
According to Marondedze, convicts Kapia and Ralph Blaauw were both national leaders who were supposed to, at all costs, set an example for others, but failed to do so.
“These five persons were not acting for the benefit of the general Namibian people. They never attempted to make sure that the money was safe. The court should not show them any mercy when handing down the sentences,” he said.
All five convicts have asked presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg for suspended sentences or fines.
Kapia, //Gases and the Blaauws had their bail of N$10 000 each reinstated as per requests by their defence lawyers.
Josea remains in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s holding cells after the court refused to entertain his request for the reinstatement of bail.
Sisa Namandje appeared for Kapia and Petrie Theron for //Gases, while Gilroy Kasper represented Sharon and Ralph Blaauw.
Slysken Makando appeared for Josea.
Marondedze, assisted by State Advocates Cliff Lutibezi and Salomon Kanyemba, appeared for the prosecution.