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NAMRIGHTS is alarmed by what appear to be renewed death threats directed at one of the seven key accused persons in the alleged AVID Investments Corporation-Social Security Commission (AVID-SSC) financial fraud, suspected to come from people fearing their involvement in the case will be exposed.

June 13 2011

BREAKING NEWS

NAMRIGHTS is, once again, alarmed by what appears to be renewed death threats directed at one of the seven key accused persons in the alleged AVID Investments Corporation-Social Security Commission (AVID-SSC) financial fraud.

Early this morning, an ostensibly disquieted former Namangol Investments Chief Executive Officer and AVID-SSC fraud accused, Nico Josea (48), told NAMRIGHTS high officials in Windhoek that he is, again, living in fear for his life following a death threat, which he had received over the weekend. Josea showed NAMRIGHTS officials a mobile phone text message (i.e. an SMS) reading as follows:

“U are the, next to die u wil pay the blood of LAZARUS KANDARA/LAZARUS IPANGELWA [sic]”.

Josea also told NAMRIGHTS that he had reported the incident to the Namibian Police (NamPol) as well as to his attorney. He said that those who authored the above text message are unknown to him. He, however, explained that he deeply suspects that the SMS might have originated “from those who have reasons to fear that I have information that will expose their involvement in the AVID-SSC case”.

The AVID-SSC scandal is a 2005 N$30 million cross-border fraud involving, among others, high-ranking officials of the ruling SWAPO Party and or their cronies. The long-awaited trial in the AVID-SSC matter, which was scheduled to be heard in the country’s High Court on June 1 2011, was, again, postponed to July 28 2011.

This is the second time in three years that Josea expresses concern for his right to life and security of person. On or around March 27 2008[1], Josea also told NAMRIGHTS that wherever he went, people were warning him to “be careful that the Old Man would kill you”. Josea explains that the term “the Old Man” is a direct reference to former Namibian President Sam Nujoma. Hence, Josea says that he has conscientiously developed a feeling that certain people out there who are acting in the name and or on behalf of either the former President and or former SWAPO Party Youth Secretary, Paulus Kapia[2], might really want to have him eliminated before, on or shortly after April 18 2008, when he was expected to appear in court over the AVID-SSC scam.

In a prominent article entitled, Nujoma named in Avid scandal[3], which was published on August 10 2005, The Namibian newspaper reported that AVID was introduced to the SSC by former SWAPO Party MP, Ralph Blaauw, who also claimed that the SWAPO Party Youth League owned 80 percent of the company's shares, and that suspended SSC Manager, Avril Green, claimed, in an affidavit submitted to the High Court, that former President, Sam Nujoma, too, was an AVID shareholder. In the said affidavit, Green reportedly stated that AVID had applied "pressure from higher political authority" to get the SSC to agree to invest money with the company.

On or around March 27 2008, Josea also told NAMRIGHTS that he believed that both Kapia and the former President might have fear or suspicion that, as a friend-in-business of the late AVID Investments Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Lazarus Kandara[4], Josea might have acquired considerable information, which might implicate them in the AVID-SSC affair.

Josea claims that, although he had never communicated or dealt directly with Kapia and or with Nujoma over the N$30 million loan from the SSC, he had been dealing directly with the late Kandara, who, in turn, was directly in contact with Kapia, who has been in direct contact with Nujoma over the multimillion AVID-SSC investment.

On August 24 2005, Kandara presumably committed suicide, under mysterious circumstances, only hours after NamPol members had arrested him the High Court. The late Kandara allegedly shot himself through the heart at pointblank range with his own gun, while in NamPol custody a few meters from the main entrance of the Windhoek Police precinct.

“These renewed allegations of death threats against Josea can hardly be taken lightly by us. Hence, we believe that such allegations warrant an Urgent Appeals[5] procedure under one of the 33 UN extra-conventional human rights mechanisms, with the view to prevent the real and imminent loss of life or the enforced disappearance of Josea or even both”, said NAMRIGHTS executive director Phil ya Nangoloh this morning.

Widespread media reports[6] last week decried the fact that several high profile mysterious deaths in the country, some dating back to 2001, have remained unexplained. The reports surfaced after a senior government Minister allegedly issued a death against trade unionist and National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) Secretary General Evilastus Kaaronda allegedly for coming strongly against yet another financial fraud, known as the GIPF Scandal[7], involving yet high-ranking politicians and or their cronies.

In case of additional information, please call, e-mail or text: Steven Mvula or Phil ya Nangoloh at Tel: +264 61 253 447, +264 61 236 183 or +264 811 406 888 (office hours) or Mobiles: +264 811 299 886 (Phil) and or +264 812 912 948 (Steven) or E-mail: [email][email protected] or [email][email protected] or visit us at: Liberty Center, 116 John Meinert Street, Windhoek-West, Windhoek or at:
[5]
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/executions/complaints.htm
[6]http://www.nshr.org.na/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=1618
[7]http://www.corruption-watch-namibia.com/swapo-gipf.html