Teko trio walk free

19 September 2019 | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a deal that saw government purchasing Chinese security scanners for hundreds of millions of dollars.

This brings the curtain down on a decade of court appearances and the related State and other costs associated with their prosecution. The trial had to reboot last year after the recusal of former presiding Judge Maphios Cheda. Over the years it was reported that some of the scanners were standing idle at airports and other entry points to the country.

The Teko trio were facing 18 charges, including counts of fraud, money-laundering, corruption and contraventions of the Immigration Control Act. They were arrested on 8 and 9 July 2009.

The State alleged that the price of the security scanners was inflated to enable the manufacturer, represented by Yang, to pay a “commission” of at least N$128.3 million to Teko Trading, a closed corporation owned by Lameck and Mokaxwa, which had signed an agency agreement with Chinese company Nuctech.

Lameck and Mokaxwa alone were accused of having defrauded a Swapo-owned company, Namib Contract Haulage, between December 2006 and June 2009 by allegedly getting the company to pay inflated prices for trucks that it was buying from China.

Lameck on her own faced six charges under the Anti-Corruption Act. Those charges were based on an allegation that while she held office as a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) she did not have the required consent from then head of state Hifikepunye Pohamba to do other paid work, such as her involvement in Teko Trading CC. The Teko trio were yesterday morning found not guilty by Judge Christie Liebenberg after their lawyer Sisa Namandje brought a successful application for their discharge last week.

This was after the prosecution, led by State advocate Dominic Lisulo, could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

“In light of the concessions made by the State, considered together with the accused persons having been wrongly charged in respect of some of the charges, and the lack of evidence presented, the only conclusion to come to is that the application must succeed on all counts,” Liebenberg said in his judgement. The two Namibians were free on bail of N$50 000 each, while Yang was granted N$1 million bail. These monies will now be refunded.

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