Explosive Avid revelations

08 August 2014 Author  

front Avid 08 augThe ongoing Avid trial could take an interesting turn if the High Court allows former Detective Chief Inspector of the Windhoek Serious Crimes Unit Oscar Sheehama to testify. In a sworn statement, of which lawyers produced sections in court this week, Sheehama claimed that had it not been for political motives and manoeuvring, the Avid case would have turned out differently.

 

According to the statement, although the charges against those currently standing trial in the Avid case might hold some truth, certain individuals who held office at the time were guilty of a serious misuse of powers and positions.

Defence counsel Sisa Namandje confirmed on Thursday that lawyers had made reference to some parts of the sworn statement in court. He, however, said the statement was not presented as evidence.

Namandje could not confirm whether the defence would submit the statement as evidence or call Sheehama as a witness.

In his statement, Sheehama alleges that tensions and internal fights within Swapo in 2005 greatly influenced the manner in which some people had hung Paulus Kapia and Mathias Shigwedha out to dry.

“During 2005 I was telephoned by the Inspector General of the Namibian Police Sebastian Ndeitunga and instructed to go to Namtex building and meet with a certain Mr. Kapofi, Secretary to Cabinet.”

Sheehama further explained that Ndeitunga informed him that the meeting would be about the Social Security Commission (SSC) and the role he/the police would play in that case.

“He told me that there are reasonable suspicions that certain high profile individuals in Government have allegedly siphoned the public money from the Commission and that I should assume a leading position to investigate the case, and make possible arrests where necessary.

“He particularly mentioned that individuals under investigation included the likes of Kapia and Shigwedha. I finally met with Kapofi at the Namtex building at the offices of a certain Kauta legal practitioners who were acting on behalf of SSC,” Sheehama said.

Kapofi at the time was also a senior board member of the Social Security Commission.

Sheehama noted that at the time, an inquiry in terms of the Company’s Act was in progress and he presumed certain aspects heard or presented in the High Court during the inquiry influenced the decision to opt for a criminal case.

He also re-called felling pressure on him to arrest Kapia and Shigwedha as well as others, following a statement the Inspector General instructed him to collect.

“I can recall that the Prosecutor General did not approve the issuing of warrants and arrest of Kapia and others, in the fashion proposed by the Inspector General,” the statement said.

Sheehama further related how events cut the meeting with the PG short when Ndeitunga received a call that requested both Sheehama and Ndeitunga to attend a meeting at the ‘SOE building’ immediately.

“This was not a formal meeting, but rather a brainstorming exercise, one of the issues discussed was the security of Hidipo Hamutneya and the return of Kandara to testify at the enquiry.

“It was in this meeting that I informed my personal rational faculty that there were many things to be desired around the Commission’s funds under review, and I could sense it clearly that this was more political than a mere fact finding exercise,” he explained.

According to Sheehama, although at the time RDP did not exist and he could not have known who the front runners of the party would be, he could now see judging from those who attended the meeting that the issue was between individual Swapo members and their interests back then.

“It was also proposed at that meeting that Kandara’s family lawyer be roped into the matter in order to convince him to return from South Africa and expose the actions of Swapo and its leaders regarding the SSC money.

“The organisers were convinced that if Kandara returns to deliver his testimony it would be a blow to Swapo and the party would be in public disrepute,” he observed.

Sheehama writes that it was from that point that he could smell some political interest and that people were using the AVID case as a scapegoat to advance certain individual interests in the whole matter.

“To achieve this, it was important for those individuals to utilise some persons in Swapo who were the focus of the SSC investigations.

“What the general public was able to see is that there was a case involving embezzlement of public funds,” he further stated.
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