President Hage Geingob says he is too busy preparing for the state of the nation address to respond to calls for him to apologise for allegedly acting “erroneously” and assisting South African president Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate the theft at his Phala Phala farm.
The call for Geingob to apologise was made by official opposition leader McHenry Venaani.
Geingob is accused of assisting Ramaphosa with state manpower and resources to investigate the theft of US$580 000 at the his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.
However, State House press secretary Alfredo Hengari yesterday said the president was preparing for his state of the nation address scheduled for tomorrow, and cannot comment on the latest developments.
Last year, Hengari denied arranging a helicopter to fetch Rhoode and South Africa’s head of the police’s presidential protection service and presidential adviser Bejani Chauke.
“The said gentlemen did not spend a night at the State House and the administration has no such record. Geingob did not “arrange” for senior police officers from the Namibian Police to meet with Rhoode and Chauke at State House.
“This entire matter was presented to the Namibian authorities as a police matter and was thus dealt with by the Namibian Police and not the Presidency,” Hengari said at the time.
He had said the issue was dealt with between senior members of the South African and Namibian Police, with the president being briefed thereafter.
“The Presidency does not provide commentary on law enforcement operations,” he had said.
Venaani on Monday told The Namibian Geingob acted wrongly by using the Namibian Police and resources.
This comes as South African public protector Kholeka Gcaleka over the weekend released a report on the Phala Phala matter confirming a meeting with Geingob at State House, and the use of resources belonging to the Namibian Police.
“There he acted wrongly regardless of Phala Phala clearance. Why use the police without a case reported?”
Venaani argued that Geingob could have used the Namibia Central Intelligence Service as part of his privileges as president.
“If he used the intelligence wing of security, he could have acted within his power.”
The move tainted the image of the Namibian Police, maintains Venaani.
“He can’t be imprisoned for it but leadership is a conscious business,” Venaani said.
Vice president of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters Kalimbo Iipumbu said the report’s outcome does not in any way morally cleanse the complicity of Geingob.
“It has been put on record that South African general Wally Rhoode was allowed to skip the border into Namibia without due process, thus disrespecting our territorial sovereignty and proceeded to receive a red-carpet welcome at State House,” Iipumbu said.
He shares Venaani’s view that Geingob’s moral compass was in question regarding the matter.
“The offices of the ombudsman and the public protector in South Africa have demonstrated a lack of courage to open the lid into this scandal and bring these two presidential culprits to the altars of accountability,” he said.
Gcaleka’s report states that it is not disputed that Rhoode escorted Chauke to Namibia on 25 June 2020.
Rhoode told Gcaleka’s office that he undertook the trip to Namibia to investigate the burglary at Ramaphosa’s farm.
“According to Rhoode, Chauke met with Geingob and he stayed outside of the meeting and thus does not know what was discussed.
“Rhoode indicated that to his knowledge, the trip was not in connection with the alleged theft at Phala Phala.
“Rhoode submitted that the trip was authorised by the former national commissioner of the South African Police Service, general Khehla Sitole,” the report reads.
Sitole said he authorised the trip for Rhoode to embark on advance protection duties for the presidential protection team.
Chauke said the purpose of the meeting with Geingob was to discuss a matter of national security in which Namibia was affected.
“Chauke further reiterated that the sole purpose of his trip to Namibia was to meet with Geingob with regard to the above matter and according to him, this was unrelated to any matter arising from the theft at Phala Phala, which had occurred some four and a half months earlier,” the report reads.
“He stated that the Namibian Police picked them up in a helicopter and they went to Windhoek. Rhoode indicated that they arrived late at night and the next morning they went to see Geingob.”
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202303160441.html
Author : [email protected] (Namibian)
Publish date : 2023-03-16 14:14:23