TransNamib board member in hot soup over alleged extortion

23 December 2020 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



TransNamib board member Oscar Kaveru is being investigated for allegedly demanding a kickback from the sale of company land in Windhoek's Northern Industrial Area.

Works and transport minister John Mutorwa said he was aware of the allegation made against Kaveru, whom he had appointed to the TransNamib board in February 2019 alongside other directors.

The demand for a kickback, which Kaveru allegedly called a 'facilitation fee', was made to FP Du Toit Transport's chief financial officer Loedolf Swanepoel, who had expressed interest in the land on behalf of his employer.

Swanepoel said Kaveru made the demand on 9 September while they were viewing the land in question.

“He requested that we make an offer on the property and that should it be acceptable, FP Du Toit would have to remunerate him personally, by way of a facilitation payment. I told Mr Kaveru that our requirement would be that this arrangement must be clearly stipulated in the sales contract compiled by a TransNamib-appointed legal representative,” said Swanepoel in a letter, dated 18 December 2020, to TransNamib CEO Johny Smith.

Swanepoel told Smith that Kaveru informed him that he was appointed by the TransNamib board to head a committee to handle the sale of various TransNamib properties.



Escalated

TransNamib says the matter has been escalated to the board and the public enterprises ministry.

“TransNamib confirms receipt of the letter and can confirm that it has been escalated to the relevant parties responsible for corporate governance issues. The matter has been referred to the board of TransNamib and the ministry of public enterprises to pronounce themselves on the matter,” Abigail Raubenheimer, TransNamib corporate communication's manager, told Namibian Sun yesterday.

Mutorwa has thrown his support behind his public enterprise counterpart Leon Jooste, who is already investigating Kaveru.



No deal



Swanepoel told Namibian Sun that no transaction took place and added that they had a meeting with TransNamib management to discuss the matter.

Smith was not available for comment, while TransNamib board chair Sigrid Tjijorokisa declined to comment.

Jooste was not available for comment yesterday, but Mutorwa said he was aware of the incident and urged Jooste to speed up the investigation .

Mutorwa said Jooste must urgently add the FP Du Toit matter to the charges he is investigating.

“I am aware of Du Toit Transport's letter implicating a certain TransNamib board member. The minster should urgently add the latest allegations and speedily conclude the investigation, whereafter appropriate remedial or corrective actions must follow,” said Mutorwa.

Attempts to reach Kaveru proved futile.

[email protected]

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