The trial in which former CEO of the Roads Contractor Company Kelly Nghixulifwa and three other business personalities are accused of fraud and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act is set to start tomorrow after the State submitted last-minute amendments to the charge sheet on Monday.
State Advocate Jack Eixab informed Judge Christi Liebenberg that due to the amendments and a request from Nghixulifwa’s counsel to have copies of the hard-drive containing the report of an audit by Ernst & Young provided to them, the trial could not start this week Monday, as scheduled.
He requested a postponement to Friday to allow Ernst & Young to provide the requested documents and to give the defense team an opportunity to study the revised indictment.
Nghixulifwa, 57, who resigned after the ambitious plan to construct B1 City opposite Katutura, went belly-up, faces ten charges of fraud and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act along with his business friends, Anna Ndoroma, 51, Hafeni Nghinamwaami, 48 and David Ndeshipanda Imbili, 41.
While Nghixulifwa alone faces ten counts, Ndoroma faces four counts, Nginamwaami four counts and Imbili two counts.
Eixab also informed the court that the charges against the companies Ae//Gams Engineering (represented by Imbili) and Cradle Investments (represented by Nghinamwaami) were withdrawn. This was because Cradle is now defunct, while Imbili sold his interest in Ae//Gams Engineering, Eixab told the court.
At the centre of the case is a loan of N4.8 million that Nghixulifwa secured for Ae//Gams Engineering to purchase Erf 10485 along Independence Avenue. In the indictment the State alleges that Nghixulifwa was at all relevant times an employee of RCC and therefore a public officer as defined in the Anti-Corruption Act.
It also states that Nghixulifwa was a “covert” shareholder in Ae//Gams Engineering through Ndoroma, and that Ndoroma, Nginamwaami and Imbili – through their business entities – acted in concert, or with common purpose, to commit the offences.
Count 1 involves contravening the Anti-Corruption Act by corruptly using office or position for gratification, together with alternatives for fraud and theft, in relation to the B1 City project. Counts 2 and 3 relate to fraud, while count 4 deals with the contravention of the Road Contractor Company Act, for failing to disclose relations in contracts – also in relation to B1 City.
Count 5 involves contravening the Anti-Corruption Act and deals with using, holding, receiving or concealing gratification in relation to an offence, or alternatively using property obtained from gratification in the B1 City deal.
Count 6 deals with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act by corruptly using office or position for gratification in relation to the Cradle Investment and count 7 is for contravening the Anti-Corruption Act by conspiring with another to commit an offence of corruption, alternatively theft.
Count 8 is for contravening the Road Contractors Company Act and the Companies Act, by failing to disclose relations in contracts in respect of Cradle Investments, while count 9 relates to contravening the Anti-Corruption Act by corruptly using office or position for gratification by issuing payment to Brian Nalisa of FNB Home Loans for mortgage arrears with RCC money, alternatively theft.
Count 10 relates to fraud, alternatively theft by false pretences, or plain theft, for allegedly duping Murray & Roberts and/or Rudiger Saunderson that Cradle Investment acted as project facilitator for the construction of the RCC head office and was entitled to a commission of N$150 000.
Ndoroma and Nginamwaami face counts 2, 5, 7 and 10 and Imbili counts 2 and 5. Nghixulifwa is represented by Advocate Louis Botes, Ndoroma by Silas-Kishi Shakumu, Nginamwaami by Lourens Campher and Imbili by Sisa Namandje.