WINDHOEK – A sombre looking acting secretary general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Alfred Angula, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning on charges of defrauding the union of more than N$1.2 million of donor funds.
It is alleged that the money went missing at the Namibia Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) where he served as a secretary general until June 2012. The case was lodged by a donor agency that donated the funds, FOS-Belgium Southern Africa.
Angula was taken in for questioning by police on Wednesday afternoon, around 16h35 and was later formally arrested and handed to the Central Police Station holding cells at around 20h00. He is accused of committing fraud between January 31 and December 31 2012 while serving as the secretary general of NAFWU. The head of the investigations, Detective Warrant-Officer Heavy Kavetuna of the Special Crime Unit told New Era that the case against Angula was lodged in April this year and subsequent investigations led to his arrest this week.
Dressed in a brown suit and a white shirt, Angula made a brief appearance before Magistrate Concita Olivier. Public Prosecutor Menisia Hinda advised Angula of the seriousness of the charges and of his right to legal representation. However, the court did not grant Angula bail with the magistrate citing the seriousness of the crime he is accused of and the risk of his interfering with witnesses, as well as that of absconding.
Angula was represented by Edwin Coetzee who decried his client being denied bail. The defence counsel said he was working on lodging a formal application for bail by Wednesday next week, when the accused is due to appear before court again.
Yesterday NUNW acting president Connie Pandeni said no decision has been taken on the future of Angula as the acting secretary general of NUNW. “All stakeholders have to come together to make a decision which will fit all parties,” said Pandeni.
Yolanda Jansen, the FOS- Belgium Southern African Regional Coordinator, who is based in South Africa, declined to comment yesterday. “I cannot comment on the matter at this stage, no comment at all,” said Jansen.
By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa