Avid kingpin, Nico Josea, has described his 17-year prison term for his role in the theft of N$30 million from the Social Security Commission between 2004 and 2005, as unfair and ridiculous.
On Thursday, High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg sentenced Josea to 17 years in prison while his co-accused Paulus Kapia, Ralph Blaauw and Inez /Gases were each fined N$60,000 or three years in prison.
Another accused, Sharon Blaauw, was fined N$8,000 or six months in jail.
“I have already appealed and if they reject my appeal which I know they will, I will then take up the matter with the Supreme Court,” Josea told the Windhoek Observer soon after Liebenberg delivered his judgement in a packed court.
Josea denied all the allegations levelled against him, saying that he did not steal any money as he was not in the country during the time that the funds went missing.
“This is all politics. I had three companies that I was surviving from, and if I had stolen the money I would have been living a luxurious life,” he said.
“First of all, they don’t even have evidence and to be honest with you, I don’t feel anything right now because I knew they were going to sentence me. One thing I know is, it is not the end of the world and as a Christian I believe in faith. There is a reason for everything that is happening and the truth will reveal itself.”
Josea and his co-accused were convicted for squandering N$30 million of the Social Security Commission (SSC) through a dubious investment deal between December 2004 and August 2005.
Although he denied all the allegations, he was quoted last month during trial admitting to have made a mistake at a young age.
“I never knew what I have done will come to this point. Both my parents have died and right now I only have 10 goats on my name worth N$20,000.”
He said the liquidation of his companies in 2006 left him and his family penniless forcing him to survive off his friends.
Kapia, /Gases and Blaauw were ordered to pay a fine of N$60,000 or serve a three-year jail term of which two years are suspended for five years on condition that they are not convicted of fraud during the period of suspension.
Sharon Blaauw was sentenced to pay an N$8,000 fine or serve six months in prison.
Judge Liebenberg said the fact that all the accused were first-time offenders, had counted heavily in their favour.
He said Kapia, /Gases and Sharon Blauuw had no role in swindling the N$30m and should not be punished as if they were in cahoots with the late Lazarus Kandara and Josea.
The accused, he says, were living a high life by serving in top positions and have since fallen from grace, which in itself is a punishment of sorts.
The judge said he had also considered that Kapia had to resign from his post as Deputy Minister as a result of the fraud case against him and thus he has already fallen from grace.
Similarly, /Gases lost her job and will no longer be allowed to practice as an accountant. The same fate awaited Sharon Blaauw, who is an admitted legal practitioner.
The judge added that Kapia and Ralph Blaauw lost their political status in society and Josea had his companies liquidated and his personal estate sequestrated.
Former MP Kapia, Blaauw and /Gases were found guilty of fraud in May this year after a trial that lasted for 13 years.
Blaauw was found guilty of contravening the Companies Act of 2004 because she signed documents without reading them properly.
Josea was convicted of theft of N$29,5 million and reckless or fraudulent conduct of business.
Seven people were initially accused of defrauding the SSC through a N$30 million investment deal in early 2005, but Otniel Podewiltz and Mathias Shiweda were found not guilty at the end of the trial.