AR, SPYL war plays out in court

04 August 2021 | Justice

MATHIAS HAUFIKU



WINDHOEK

The political battle between the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement and Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) is said to be what led to the falling apart of plans to demonstrate against the incarceration of the Fishrot accused persons.

This according to SPYL Khomas executive additional member Sylas Mungoba, who is currently in court seeking bail after he was arrested for allegedly bribing AR member Paulus Paulus last month.

“I have been trying to understand why I was arrested, and the conclusion is that they set me up because they are seeking political relevance since we are from different political formations,” Mungoba said while delivering his testimony on Monday before Magistrate Celma Amadhila.

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Mungoba allegedly paid N$8 000 to Paulus and promised to give him about N$80 000 once a campaign to get the Fishrot accused released on bail is in full swing.

Mungoba, the personal assistant of urban and rural development deputy minister Natalia Goagoses, said the money was meant for the purchasing of T-shirts, posters and content development for a social media campaign.

Lawyer Petrus Elago from Tjombe-Elago Incorporated, who is representing Mungoba, said his client is being persecuted for holding a view contrary to the wider public’s opinion on the Fishrot matter.

Since the arrests in 2019, AR has been amongst those opposing the granting of bail for the six accused.

Mungoba, despite knowing AR’s position, said he approached Paulus and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma in their personal capacities to spearhead the campaign because he has a cordial friendship with the latter.

Mungoba said he has been friends with Nauyoma, that they have organised demonstrations in the past and that he has supported him financially in times of need.

“The two are popular on social media and they are vocal in the Fishrot matter, hence I approached them. They said we cannot do it for free and for it to be effective, they need extra funds to create content. I asked them how much and they said N$10 000,” he said, adding that he also saw that the duo had posted statements that favour the Fishrot accused on their social media profiles.

Painting a picture

During his testimony yesterday, ACC investigator Phelem Masule said the demonstration that was meant to take place was set to paint a picture that Namibia’s judiciary is unfair and corrupt.

“He painted a picture that the money to pay Paulus would come from Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi’s wife because she knows where the money is hidden. The whole thing is engineered from prisons,” he said.

According to him: “The bribe was to convince Paulus to change his mind and go against his conviction, which included bail for the Fishrot persons”.

He said demonstrators were supposed to be ferried to Windhoek from the north and that Mungoba’s ‘bosses’ would cater for the costs.

Masule said ACC’s involvement was triggered because “we were searching for Fishrot money”.

“There was an indication that he was going to receive money from Fitty’s wife and we were also looking for documents linked to the demonstration. In the process, we uncovered documentary evidence that he [Mungoba] shared with secretary for SPYL Khomas [Immanuel Paulus] in the form of a letter from Sacky [Shanghala] directed to the SPYL,” Masule said.

He also said Paulus, in his affidavit, indicated that Mungoba was in communication with jailed former justice minister Shanghala.

“We have a strong case in the form of direct evidence of bribe payments and documents linking those payments to the motif,” he said.

Interference

Masule also told the court that Mungoba is “capable of interfering with the investigations if released because of his involvement to arrange the demonstration underground”.

Apart from Paulus and Nauyoma, Masule said other AR members such as Job Amupanda and Kavetu Maitjituavi also deposed affidavits with the ACC.

Mungoba offered to pay bail of N$3 000 if granted by the court.

The state is represented by public prosecutor Timo Itula.

The matter is back in court today, with both parties expected to deliver their closing arguments before the court decides on Mungoba’s bail.