'Show me the money'

The High Court has dismissed an application by the Social Security Commission for a compensation order to recover the missing N$30 million in the Avid fraud case.

29 June 2018 | Justice

The Avid trial briefly took an unexpected turn yesterday when the state brought an application for a compensation order for the missing millions invested for the Social Security Commission (SSC) by the Avid Investment Corporation.

However, High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg struck the matter from the roll on the basis that it was non-procedural and unilateral. The State could also not provide proof of a resolution of the SSC authorising the application for recovery.

Former deputy minister Paulus Kapia, Inez /Gâses and Ralph Blaauw, all guilty of fraud, and one of the kingpins in the matter, Nico Josea, who was found guilty of theft by conversion, and Sharon Blaauw, found guilty of reckless conduct of business, will be sentenced on 5 July.

Yesterday, state advocate Ed Marondedze submitted an application in terms of Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act on behalf of the CEO of the SSC, Milka Mungunda. Mungunda also asked for costs.

In a letter to Marondedze on 9 May this year, the SSC said it had received a paltry N$9.8 million of the missing N$30 million.

The amount to be recovered is N$20 103 377.59, excluding any interest that may have accrued.

The then acting CEO, Vemunjengua Kavari, had documented that the SSC had received N$6.9 million on 20 September 2010 and N$2 996 622.41 on 28 January 2014. Sisa Namandje, appearing on behalf of Paulus Kapia in opposing the application, said a criminal court is not the best place to determine a civil matter.

According to him as there is no proof that the application for recovery was authorised by the SSC's board.

“The application is not properly before the court and it must be struck from the roll,” Namandje argued.

Gilroy Kasper, the lawyer appearing for the Ralph and Sharon Blaauw, agreed with Namandje and added that in the absence of a resolution from the SSC, which is a statutory body governed by a board of directors, the application is a failure.

Slysken Makando, appearing for Nico Josea, emphasised that it is not in dispute that the SSC is a juristic persona.

“A company has no soul of its own. The SSC exists only through human beings who must be authorised and there is no evidence that the purported application by Milka Mungunga was sanctioned by the juristic persona,” Makando argued.

Marondedze said he had not expected the nature of the opposition from the defence counsels.

He asked for an adjournment to obtain documentation to prove the application was sanctioned but Liebenberg rejected this, saying he had filed the application

already.

“If the purpose of the adjournment is to call the deponent, that would not be proper,” he said.



FRED GOEIEMAN

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