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NEFF blames Nam’s Institutional Weakness In Phala Phala Scandal …as Ramaphosa comes under fire

By:Staff writer
As South African president Cyril Ramaphosa feels the heat on the Phala Phala scandal, politicians in Namibia want the same pressure exerted on president Hage Geingob but have blamed the inaction on the lack of domestic institutional weakness.
The fate of Ramaphosa seemed to hang in the balance last week after a report found evidence that he may have misconducted himself over stashes of millions of dollars stolen from his Phala Phala farm.
The scandal also spilled into Namibia where Geingob has been accused of assisting Ramaphosa to track down those suspected to have broken into Ramaphosa’s farm premises and stole millions of dollars “stored” or “concealed” in a couch in the president’s private residence on the farm in Limpopo.
But as pressure mounted on the South African president with reports that he might step down, Geingob also came under the spotlight after he got fingered in the report issued by an independent panel appointed to look into the Phala Phala allegations.
“The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters would like to equally caution the President of the Republic of Namibia, Hage Geingob that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with him,” said the NEFF in a statement over the weekend.
The party nudged the ombudsman who investigated the president a couple of months ago but hit a brick-wall after the authority said it has no power to investigate a conduct of a criminal nature.
Kalimbo Iipumbu, the second in command of the party, said the findings on Ramaphosa by the panel highlighted the need for strong institutions of state which carry out their work with due diligence, utmost freedoms and without fear or favour.
“They are a reminder that men are put into positions not to be turned into holy cows, but that their actions must be subjected to the will of the people as expressed in the institutions that exist, be it in Namibia or South Africa,” Iipumbu said.
“As the wheels of justice gather their momentum in South Africa, we would like to register our displeasure in the office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Corruption Commission. It must be remembered that the NEFF was the only party which wrote to the office of the Ombudsman in order for it to institute a blanket investigation on how South African authorities were able to sneak into Namibia, get VIP treatment at State House and proceed to arrest a Namibian national,” he said.
He said the failure of the police, the ombudsman and the ACC to investigate Geingob spoke to what he called “the generic and endemic weaknesses we have in our institutions tasked with fighting corruption”.
“We as the NEFF do not believe that state institutions should operate from a position of fear, selective morality and partiality, but that they should respect the office of the presidency more than the person of the president himself,” he stressed.
“By aiding a South African law official to enter our country unchecked and offering him the courtesy of VIP treatment at statehouse, president Geingob aided the perpetuation of injustice and a wanton disrespect of our territorial integrity and the highest laws of the land. He has warmed himself with a fear kindled by a thief, which equally makes him a thief.”
“NEFF is greatly appreciative of every South African whose motivation as the sustenance of justice and dragging before the alters of justice those who use their power to further injustice on their land. It is our strong submission that Namibian authorities should take the cue from South Africa and bring the pressure to bear on president Geingob,” Iipumbu insisted.
He also took issue with the constitutional immunities around the president which he said overly protected him from the wrath of prosecution.
“We contend that this is a dishonest attempt at seeking to take Namibians for a ride and a use of political muscle, lobbying and the law to protect those who should be answering to their deeds in our courts of law. The NEFF is aware that Namibian presidents are the most protected when it comes to the proffering of presidential immunity against prosecution.”
“We call upon the very foundational dictates of law which have allowed this to be amended, so that the person of the president can be prosecuted whenever he or she defiles the oath of office and the office of the presidency. The immunities afforded president Geingob were dishonestly sneaked into our constitutions to cover corruption and shield those in power from the very same process of prosecution which every other individual citizen is subjected to,” he said.

Staff Writer

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