For the last eight years, 67-year-old Gideon Kainkop, a resident of Okahandja, has been fighting tooth and nail to recover money he lost in a car deal that went sour, depriving him of N$30 000 from his pension.
Kainkop recently told New Era that he bought a Nissan 1400 for N$30 000 with his pension money and paid an additional N$2 500 for a canopy at a second-hand car dealer in 2008. That was the beginning of his woes, he said.
“The mistake I made was to pay for the car upfront,” Kainkop said, explaining that as soon as he drove the car it experienced mechanical problems.
“The car was overheating when I was driving back to Okahandja but when I went back the dealer said it would be fixed,” recalled the despondent old man. “The agreement was for him to fix the car or return the money,” he added.
New Era has seen documents on the agreement between Kainkop and the car dealer, but the dealer, Johannes Modler, allegedly sold the car to another person for N$20 000.
Modler also allegedly refused to pay back the money or to return the car. “The man should talk to me and pay me back my money. It was my pension money, it was my pension money,” Kainkop said.
He added that he first took up the matter with lawyers, “but they were taking long so we went to the police, but the police has not done anything until now”. The case was opened in 2010.
Spokesperson of the Namibian Police Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the case, saying a case of theft under false pretense was indeed opened at Windhoek police station.
Shikwambi, however, could not confirm whether the case opened involves a motor vehicle, as the investigating officer is on leave. “The police can’t get him to talk to me,” said Kainkop, who said he just wants to know why he did not receive his money back eight years later.
Meanwhile, Wilfred Goaseb, who referred to himself as a community activist in Okahandja, said: “The police do not want to arrest the car dealer. He is very well known to the police, but until now he is a free man. The case was reported as a criminal case. This old man is a disabled man. His last penny was stolen by a rich white man. He lost everything,” Goaseb said.
Contacted for comment, Modler said he had sold the car while it was in good condition. “The man came here with youngsters and the way he drove the car I said to myself this car will not last a week.” He said Kainkop only returned the car to complain of mechanical problems three weeks later.
“The car was in good condition. I don’t have a problem to return his money, but I will deduct the money I used to fix it, because it had no problem when I sold it to him,” said Modler, adding that he would pay Kainkop’s money in January through a lawyer.
Asked why he took so long to return the money, Modler asked: “Who must I pay? Different people were calling me.”