Nabta boss to go on trial in February 2021 on fraud charges

The Secretary-General of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) Pendapala Nakathingo, who faces charges of fraud and forgery, is scheduled to go on trial in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on 15 February 2021.

On Thursday, Nakathingo made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court along Lüderitz Street when his fraud and forgery case was postponed to February for the purposes of plea and start of the trial.

The postponement was effected as per an agreement reached by Nakathingo’s privately-instructed defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht and Public Prosecutor Cedric Tubeho Mundia in court.

He appeared before Windhoek Magistrate Celma Ndapewa Amadhila.

The 43-year-old Nakathingo was arrested in April 2020 for allegedly illegally selling an estimated 20 000 essential service provider permits to Nabta members while the permits should have been issued for free.

It is reported that he received a document containing the permits on 09 April 2020 by the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and SME Development after he allegedly claimed that Nabta has 100 000 workers, but only 20 000 will be working during the period of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Nakathingo also allegedly tampered with the document and started selling a permit at a cost while these permits were supposed to be obtained by the taxi drivers and long-distance drivers free of charge.

Earlier newspaper reports had it that Nakathingo was investigated and arrested by the police when some drivers started complaining to officials of the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and SME Development as well as to the police about being charged by Nabta for the permits that are supposed to be free.

He allegedly charged N.dollars 100 for sedans (taxis), N.dollars 150 for Quantam buses and N.dollars 200 for Iveco buses.

Nakathingo is charged with fraud for allegedly contravening the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act of 2003, alternatively using his office for gratification, forgery and uttering a document for personal gains.

He is free on bail of N.dollars 5 000 and his bail was also on Thursday extended until his next court appearance on 15 February 2021.

Source: Namibia Press Agency