The finance and operations manager of Namib Contract Haulage Pty Ltd (NCH), Eliphas Shivute, was recently arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on corruption charges involving embezzlement of funds.
ACC chief investigator Nelius Becker yesterday confirmed Shivute’s arrest, saying the manager is accused of defrauding the company of close to N$100 000.
“Shivute used his friends in order to make out a cheque in their names, which they cashed at Standard Bank and he would then allegedly misappropriate the cash,” Becker explained.
He said to date the ACC managed to uncover three cheques amounting to N$58 000 in total. However, he said, the Directorate of Investigation and Prosecution is conducting a more in-depth investigation into all payments made (and reconciling the bank accounts with the cheque books and invoices) to establish whether any other payments of this nature can be uncovered and also to establish the extent of the alleged corruption.
He said Shivute was arrested for the contravention of section 35(3) of the Anti-Corruption Act, which deals with instances whereby an agent knowingly uses a receipt, account or other document that contains any statement that is false or erroneous or defective and intended to mislead.
Shivute would allegedly involve a friend or someone that NCH did business with and inflated the amount on cheques payable to them (in case of business entities) and request them to return the difference between the invoiced amount and the amount he suggested, under the pretext that he had to pay drivers in cash.
“Normally cheques are to be signed by him and the chairperson of the board,” said Becker, adding that the chairperson, however, signed a number of blank cheques which enabled Shivute to apparently complete the cheques with details of choice.
He is currently out on bail of N$7 500. His bail conditions include among others that he may not go to the offices of NCH and may not make contact with any of the drivers or the sales clerk.
The case has been postponed to October 17.
NHC is a subsidy of Kalahari Holdings and operates passenger transport services between central Namibia and Windhoek to the northern regions. Its transport fleet is popularly known as the “yellow buses” or “Swapo buses”.