By Shinovene Immanuel and Ndanki Kahiurika | 27 March 2019

PUBLIC enterprises minister Leon Jooste on Saturday said he will investigate how the Social Security Commission overpaid a middleman for land in central Windhoek last year.

Jooste’s commitment to probe comes after The Namibian reported on Friday that the SSC paid more than N$36 million last year for the land, which by one valuation should only have cost about N$15 million, close to Hosea Kutako Drive and across from the Electoral Commission of Namibia and opposite the N$1 billion new home affairs head office in Windhoek North.

SSC, the state-run social protection agency, plans to build its new headquarters on the plot measuring about 3 000 square metres.

“I have decided to launch an immediate investigation on Monday. I’ve had enough of this sort of thing,” Jooste told The Namibian over the weekend.

The SSC draws its income from mandatory monthly contributions paid by all formal employers and employees towards providing a measure of income protection for workers, such as when suffering injuries on the job, or for maternity and sick leave.

Friday’s article sketched how middleman Ambrosius Tierspoor, who is the spokesperson of the National Road Safety Council, featured prominently in the questionable land transaction.

Documents show that Tierspoor pocketed N$16 million within four months by buying the two plots from two businessmen and reselling them to the SSC – one of them on the same day he bought it.

Tierspoor appears to be highly regarded in the works ministry, where he works. He is also a board member of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, which likewise falls under the works ministry.

Deeds Office records show that Tierspoor first bought erf 8451, measuring about 2 100 square metres, on 12 August 2016 from car dealer and prominent motor racing enthusiast Llewellyn Anthony for N$16 million.

He sold the plot to the SSC for N$23 million (or about N$11 000 per square metre) on 10 December 2016, making a profit of N$7 million.

Tierspoor and his wife, Mercia, also bought erf 1372, measuring 949 square metres, for N$4 million from Jan Claasen, a manager at parastatal NamPost, on 7 December 2016. They then sold the plot on the same day to the SSC for N$13 million (or about N$13 400 per square metre), making a profit of N$9 million. Tierspoor thus appeared to have made N$16 million profit from the sale of the two plots.

Looked at another way, the N$16 million which Tierspoor pocketed could have funded 800 university students amounting to N$20 000 each for one year.

The fact that Tierspoor bought erf 1372 from Claasen and sold it to the SSC on the same day has attracted claims that the commission deliberately wasted money by buying from Tierspoor instead of the original owner.

Sources told The Namibian over the weekend that SSC executives and the board knew that the land deal enriched Tierspoor because he sold it to them on the same day that he acquired it. Tierspoor and Claasen refused to comment.

“I told you to speak to Ambrosius (Tierspoor). Thank you very much, goodbye,” Claasen said.

Sirkel Motors’ owner Anthony, who sold his land to Tierspoor for N$16 million, said the plot appeared to have been overpriced when sold to the SSC.

SSC chief executive Milka Mungunda, who rubber-stamped the purchase of the plots, did not answer questions sent to her last week. She is also accused by SSC insiders of victimising officials suspected of leaking information about dubious deals involving the institution.


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