SPYL Dragged Into Avid Saga

The former General Manager – Finance at the Social Security Commission said that he was informed that Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) owned 80% of the shares in Avid Investment Company.

This came to light during his testimony in the trial involving a botched 30-million investment deal which became known as the Avid “Saga”. “Mr Blaauw introduced himself to me as a member of parliament, who was send by higher authority to introduce Avid Investments to me” Green told Judge Christi Liebenberg during his first day of testimony on Monday. Blaauw (Ralph), his wife Sharon, Swapo backbencher Paulus Ilonga Kapia, Inez Gases, lawyer Otniel Podewiltz, retired Brigadier Mathias Shiweda and Nico Josea are accused of fraud, alternatively theft, and a host of charges of reckless or fraudulent conduct of business, which is a contravention of the Companies Act, Act 61 of 1973 that was repealed and replaced with a new Act in 2010. According to Green – who is only the second witness out of a possible 66 to testify since the start of the trial – Blaauw told him that SPYL owned 80% of the outfit. He also said that during a follow-up visit with Kapia at the latter’s office at Swapo HQ in Katutura, Kapia flat-out asked him why the SSC is not investing with Avid.

His testimony comes in the wake of that of Gideon Mulder, who was the Manager – Corporate Investment, at the time of the failed investment deal. Mulder’s testimony also painted a picture of political interference in the saga. Green further told the court that he mainly dealt with Blaauw during discussions and that it was Blaauw who introduced him to the various other role players in the investment firm. According to Green, while Blaauw told him that he has no position in the investment firm, he “vigorously represented the company”. According to Green, after his first encounter with Blaauw on January 03, 2005, he received an investment portfolio from Gases the very next day in which they asked for an investment of N$60-million with an interest rate of between 15 and 20%. After careful scrutiny of the portfolio and subsequent meetings between himself, Gases, Shiweda and Kapia it was decided to invest N$30-million with Avid, he informed the court. However, Green said, he became cautious when a guarantee he received for the money was not forthcoming from Standard Chartered Bank in South Africa as was agreed and he decided to cancel the money transfer that was effected. He also said that he enquired from Navachab Mine who Avid had presented as a reference and was told that the guarantee provided to them was “of no use”. This was a major concern for him, Green testified. He said that there were also concerns that the late Lazarus Kandara was involved in the matter, but this fears was allayed by assurances from Blaauw and Kapia. Kandara was the subject of a presidential enquiry into the investment dealings of the Social Security Commission and the principal agent for Avid Investments. Kandara died of apparent suicide by shooting himself in the chest in front of several police officers in front of the Windhoek Police Station after he was allowed to go home and collect some clothing and bedding upon his arrest. According to Green, after some more discussions it was eventually decided to invest the N$30-miilion with Avid on a four month deal.

Source : New Era