Recover Avid money - SPYL

The ruling party's youth wing says it was the workers who suffered most when the Social Security Commission lost millions.

12 July 2018 | Crime

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has called on the Social Security Commission (SSC) to lodge a civil suit in order to recover the millions lost in the Avid corruption scandal.

In a statement issued this week, SPYL information secretary Gerson Lineekela Dumeni said the High Court “missed a crucial part of the Criminal Procedure Act”, when it decided to fine some of those convicted in the Avid case, while imprisoning only one accused, Nico Josea.

Josea's company Namangol Investments received N$29.5 million of the SSC funds shortly after the full amount of N$30 million was transferred to Avid Investment Corporation in 2005.

Ralph Blaauw and his wife Sharon, former deputy works minister Paulus Kapia and accountant Inez /Gâses received fines and suspended sentences for their part in the scandal.

Ralph, /Gâses and Kapia received a N$60 000 fine each or three years imprisonment, while Sharon who was convicted of reckless business conduct, was slapped with a meagre N$8 000 fine or six months imprisonment.

“He (Josea) personally benefitted from the crime and besides the amount of N$3.2 million that was initially kept by him, a further N$14.9 million was paid in his personal bank account. Mention was made about the amount of N$4 million he (Josea) transferred to an account held by (Lazarus) Kandara and monies paid back by his church,” Judge Christie Liebenberg said while sentencing Josea to an effective 17 years in prison.

Liebenberg also confirmed that N$11 million of the money transferred to Namangol had been recovered following the company's liquidation and Josea's sequestration.

Dumeni said this week “it is true that the unjust can go unpunished and enjoy the fruits of injustice”.

He said the SPYL was urging the SSC to apply for a compensation from the court, especially since the Avid offence had caused damage or loss of property.

“The SSC suffered a loss. That is not money for the commission but for the people - the workers,” he said.

The youth league emphasised it is important for the country's citizens to have trust and confidence in the justice system.

“Thus, the SPYL feels legal practitioners need to present concrete arguments that touch on all aspects of the case. It does not serve society to put a person in prison or fine them and the lost money remains unrecovered,” said Dumeni.



Interest of society

During the sentencing proceedings, Judge Liebenberg said it was not difficult to understand the feelings and emotions of a society which was no longer prepared to put up with criminals in its midst.

He said people have voiced the anger and frustration by way of public demonstrations or showing a keen interest in the outcome of criminal cases.

“The courts have the duty to serve the interest of society and though cognisant of their feelings and expectations, it should not blindly adhered thereto, but it has decide what sentence in the circumstances of the particular case, will do justice to society as well as the accused,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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