WINDHOEK – The State is continuing to flood the court with wave after wave of State witnesses testifying there was no third party involvement in the negotiations for the purchase of scanners from Chinese company Nuctech Technologies in the ongoing mega corruption case.
The high-profile case involves former Chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Teckla Lameck, her business partner in Teko Trading, Jerobeam Kongo Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fan in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Yesterday the Project manager of the project for government, Jacqueline Umuna Tjiseseta continued this trend when she testified she was involved with the project from its inception and she never heard of Teko Trading or any other third parties involved in the deal.
According to her, she only dealt with Yang Fan as the project manager on the part of Nuctech during the implementing stage of the project. She only knows Lameck and Mokaxwa through the media, Tjiseseta informed the court.
Previously the current Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein testified that no third parties were involved in the project, as did Ericah Shafuda, the current PS of Finance.
Schlettwein, who was the PS of finance at the time, told the court negotiations on the framework agreement between China and Namibia was done on a government to government basis with only officials from the line ministry and China Embassy officials involved except for officials from the China Exim Bank.
He had no idea how Teko Trading, who allegedly bagged more than US$12 million “commission on the deal got involved.”
Shafuda and Schlettwein has testified that the Department of Customs and Excise submitted a request to the ministry of finance for scanners to be installed at border points of Namibia, including airports, harbor’s and ground border posts. Shafuda testified that at the time she was the deputy PS responsible for government accounts and she assisted in drafting a proposal to access a concessional loan from China to purchase the scanners.
She said that an agreement was reached with the Chinese government that required from Namibia to advance payment of just over US$12 million to start manufacturing of the equipment.
Part of the agreement was that the Chinese government would provide the rest of the purchase price, just more than US$42 million on the condition that a Chinese firm is appointed to manufacture and install the scanners.
Nuctech Technologies was subsequently appointed with a price tag of just over US$55 million.
Lameck, Mokaxwa and Fan denied guilt on the charges they face at the start of their new trial after three judges of the Supreme Court upheld their suspicion of bias against the judge that presided over their original trial, Maphios Cheda and removed him from the trial and replaced him with Judge Liebenberg.
It is alleged that Lameck, Fan and Mokaxwa duped government through the Ministry of Finance to pay an inflated price of US$55 348 800 for scanners to be used at airports and border posts.
In fact, the State alleges, the price was inflated with an amount of US$12 828 800 meant as ‘commission’ for Teko Trading who facilitated the transaction.
Lameck and Mokaxwa alone faces charges that they, while Mokaxwa was employed there and Lameck was the board chairman of Swapo owned company, Namib Contract Haulage, duped the company into buying them four tipper trucks valued at US$144 000.
The other charges of 18 facing Lameck, 12 facing Mokaxwa and six facing Fan relate to transgressions of the Immigration Control Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and further contraventions of the Anti-Corruption Act.
The two Namibians and the Chinese national were arrested on July 8 and 9, 2009 in Windhoek.
Lameck and Mokaxwa are currently free on bail of N$ 50 000 each and Yang is out on bail of a hefty N$1 million dollars.
The State is represented by Advocate Dominic Lisulo assisted by Advocate Constance Moyo and Advocate Gerson Hinda SC is representing the Teko Trio on instructions of Sisa Namandje.