NDC Bosses Claim Innocence

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The suspended Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) Chief Executive Officer Abdool Sattar Aboobakar and the head of Finance and Administration Addis Faul pleaded not guilty to all the charges yesterday when their disciplinary hearings started in the capital. Aboobakar and Faul, who were suspended last year following a host of misconduct charges, appeared for the first time before the disciplinary hearing which is set for the entire week. After both managers pleaded not guilty to the charges, the disciplinary committee called in two witnesses, namely the NDC acting Chief Executive Officer Wessels Nanuseb and NDC Agricultural manager Pieter de Wet to testify. A lawyer who is part of the proceedings told New Era yesterday that no concrete conclusions could be made from yesterday’s testimony, saying it was still “early days”. Aboobakar and Faul’s charges mostly resulted from NDC’s N$55 million, which was passed on to the Offshore Development Company for investment. The N$55 million investment is part of the missing N$100 million invested with an unknown Botswana investment company, Great Triangle Investment (GTI). One of the major charges against the two suspended managers is that of gross negligence. The charge sheet states that Aboobakar neglected to ensure the safety of the NDC funds when he unlawfully and wrongfully approved and/or caused the investment of N$55 million of the Corporation’s fund with the Offshore Development Company (ODC), an entity that is not a financial institution. Aboobakar, who is also the CEO of ODC, was also charged with poor performance. He allegedly failed to perform his duties and functions properly as required by his contract of employment and the Corporation’s Investment Strategy by unlawfully and wrongfully approving and/or transferring N$55 million to ODC purportedly to be invested with or by ODC, an entity that is not a financial institution. Aboobakar, who has since been suspended as the ODC CEO, is further being charged with wrongfully and unlawfully withholding information from the company’s Board of Directors of the unlawful and wrongful approval of investment, and the subsequent unlawful and wrongful transfer of funds to ODC. The final charge is that he wrongfully and unlawfully exceeded his powers when he approved the investment. Lucius Murorua is the chairperson of the disciplinary committee, while advocate Werner Boesak on instructions from Engling, Stritter & Partners is the initiator. Another Windhoek-based lawyer, Nate Ndauendapo is also part of the prosecution team. Aboobakar and Faul are being represented by Elia Shikongo. The two managers are on suspension with full pay.