By Eliaser Ndeyanale | 10 June 2022
TWO years ago, residents at Olukekete village in the Outapi constituency allegedly started asking each other who was funding the major renovations of the traditional homestead which is now linked to the millions stolen from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.
The homestead belongs to Mwaambange Shikunda, an elder at Olukekete village in the Omusati region, about 15km from Outapi.
This is the house Imanuwela David (35) grew up in.
David is accused of being the mastermind behind the theft of US$4 million (N$60 million) in cash from Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
The case involves five Namibians.
Additionally, the suspects allegedly used a Namibian school principal to buy a lodge and Toyota Land Cruiser.
Villagers who spoke to The Namibian and know the Olukekete homestead, this week said the property was transformed from a small structure to an electrified house.
“Residents of the village were surprised and started asking each other questions as to who was behind the upgrading of the house.
“It was a major upgrade and everybody was shocked, because the house was looked down upon. Only one person in the house is employed. Later on the story of the robbery surfaced,” a village resident said.
The construction of the house became the subject of police investigation.
Another resident said a new building, two lodges and flush toilets were built at the house in 2020.
The village also saw David driving a Mercedes Benz SUV.
According to a police report on David, compiled by the former head of the police’s criminal investigations directorate, commissioner Nelius Becker, in June 2020, a 12-room sink building had been constructed.
The building was suspected to have been financed by Ramaphosa’s stolen money.
In the report, Becker at the time suggested that the police should approach Shikunda and ask who was funding the construction at her homestead.
David shot into the limelight following his controversial arrest on 14 June, 2020, for allegedly crossing into Namibia via the Orange River at Rooiwal near Noordoewer.
The police said David was aided to cross into Namibia by police officer Hendrik Nghete from the tourism subdivision at Lüdertiz, who also assisted him with getting to Windhoek.
Former Fishcor acting chief executive officer (CEO) Paulus Ngalangi reportedly transported David to Windhoek with his BMW X5 from Noordoewer.
David, better known as ‘Kaboy’, was arrested by a group of police officers led by former Khomas regional commander commissioner Joseph Shikongo on 14 June 2020.
He was arrested at the 77 on Independence apartment block in Independence Avenue in Windhoek, and was found in possession of N$300, US$1 100, four cellphones and a Rolex watch.
David had been living in South Africa with his mother, Amalia Haunaunye, and late father, Libolius David since 2005.
He allegedly failed Grade 10 in 2001.
Five years later he joined the South African Defence Force as a border guard, and later resigned from the army.
David attracted public attention on 9 February, 2020 when he, Umbanus Shaumbwako, Petrus Muhekeni, Erkki Shikongo, and Petrus Afrikaner robbed Ramphosa’s farmhouse and stole N$60 million hidden in a sofa.
Before the presidential ranch robbery, David allegedly owned an old VW Polo.
He allegedly started driving flashy cars after the robbery.
According to the police’s report, David “had no money before”.
It also states that after he “stole” the money he went to settle in Cape Town.
Ramaphosa has been accused of paying David around N$150 000 to keep quiet.
David’s co-accused Shikongo bought a lodge at Outapi.
The lodge was previously owned by Immanuel Shaduka, a businessman and mechanic at Outapi.
The lodge, named Amandla Guest House, was bought for N$800 000 in March 2020.
The police said it was bought through the principal of John Pandeni Combined School, Simeon Haihambo, known as ‘Tafulele’.
The police said the principal also bought a Toyota Land Cruiser “on behalf of the criminal group”.
Contacted for comment on Thursday, Haihambo denied any wrongdoing, saying he was an agent of the previous owner and started advertising the lodge in 2019.
“In 2019, I was approached by Shaduka to help him sell the lodge. I put it on my Facebook page. In March 2020, while I was on my way from Windhoek, I was called by someone from my village, and he told me Shooya (Shikongo) seemed to have money and wanted to buy the lodge,” Haihambo said.
He said he told the person to organise a meeting with Shikongo, whom Haihambo said he grew up with, although they were not close friends.
Haihambo said he took Shikongo to the previous owner and the two agreed on the sale of the property.
Haihambo told The Namibian he was also asked by Shikongo to buy a pickup to transport sewage from the lodge as it is out of town and not connected to a sewerage system.
“From there Shikongo went to South Africa and transferred N$800 000 from his own account to the seller. At the time I knew Kaholongo was selling that Land Cruiser, and I told Shikongo about the car, and he bought it himself. The car was bought for N$165 000,” Haihambo said.
He denied knowing the money was stolen.
Ramaphosa allegedly called president Hage Geingob to hunt down the suspects who fled from South Africa to Namibia. This was considered an effort to cover up the incident.
Haihambo said he was interviewed by the Namibian police with South African undercover police in 2020.
“They were here at Outapi, but the story just died. I heard some of the money was confiscated,” he said.
According to the police, however, Haihambo told them he bought the car on behalf of the gang.
He also said he and Shikongo met in Windhoek in March 2020 to buy the car.
“The money was transferred from Mr Shikongo to Kaholongo’s account. It was transferred with the assistance of the banker outside FNB John Meinert in Windhoek,” he said.
Haihambo said he does not want his name to appear in the newspaper, and if The Namibian reported unprofessionally “we will act. We are not small boys”.
News24 this week reported that Shikongo bought a flat at Bloubergstrand in Cape Town for N$1,7 million in cash after the break-in.
It’s reported that he also bought a house in Kraaifontein for the sum of N$300 000 in July 2020.
According to News24, Muhekeni, who is also from the Omusati region, was an Uber driver at Hout Bay.
Omusati police commissioner Titus Shikongo yesterday declined to comment.
“I should refer you to the police headquarters, because when we investigate something here we always refer it to them,” he said.
Omusati region’s head of crime investigations, deputy commissioner Moses Simaho, yesterday confirmed that he investigated the case, but said he would not share any details on it, as it would “jeopardise his career and life”.
In the wake of the farm robbery, Becker outlined in his report how the Namibian Police would conduct the investigation and who would be interviewed.
Police chief inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga removed Becker from the Criminal Investigations Unit a month after he released his report.
Becker is now heading the National Forensic Science Institute of Namibia.
He told The Namibian yesterday: “I don’t want to comment on this matter any longer. Please call the police public relations officer.”
Ndeitunga was not reachable for comment.
His deputy, Joseph Shikongo, said it is a South African matter.
“I am not involved.”