Johannesburg – The former acting CEO for the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), was forced to resign after his arrest for allegedly helping the robbery mastermind at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm.
Paulus Ngalangi yesterday confirmed to The Sunday Independent he was arrested and is out on N$6000 bail. Ngalangi claims he was asked by a friend, whom he refused to name, to fetch Immanuwela David after he illegally entered Namibia by crossing the Orange River in a canoe on June 12, 2020.
“I honestly didn’t know him or even that he was involved in the robbery at President Ramaphosa’s farm. I was just doing a friend a favour,” he said.
Ngalangi drove David in his BMW X5, accompanied by police sergeant Hendrick Hidipo Nghede.
“I asked a sergeant in the Namibian police to accompany me. And we found David waiting for us at a service station in Noordoewer carrying a small bag of clothes,” he said.
Ngalangi denies being paid for the job and that David was carrying the N$7-million that is claimed he smuggled to Namibia.
“I wasn’t paid, and David didn’t have any money with him,” he said.
Ngalangi and Nghede are expected to go on trial in August for their role in helping David.
David rose from rags to riches overnight after the robbery at Ramaphosa’s farm. He allegedly went on a shopping spree buying a house in Rustenburg, North West, a Lamborghini and a Mercedes-Benz G-wagon, which was later stolen in Cape Town and registered under his confidante’s name after it was recovered.
He also planned a lavish wedding, but it never happened when he was arrested in Namibia on June 14, 2020, after crossing the Orange River in a canoe and entering the country illegally.
When he was arrested, he was in Namibia to buy a car dealership in Swakopmund, where he and his partner were going to sell cars stolen and hijacked in South Africa.
David’s other alleged accomplice in the robbery at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm on February 9, 2020, Erkki Shikongo, also bought a guest house in Outapi, Namibia, for N$80 000 and called it Amandla Guest House.
Initially, David was arrested for entering Namibia illegally and contravening the Covid-19 regulation as he entered Namibia during the hard lockdown. It was during his interrogation that things started falling apart for him.
A confidential report seen by The Sunday Independent compiled by former Namibian crime investigations department head Nelius Becker, dated June 21, 2020, reveals David and his partners had planned to buy a car dealership in Swakopmund.
David was forced to do a Covid test after being arrested at Hotel 77 on Independence Avenue in Windhoek and tested positive to become the 33rd person to test positive for the virus in Namibia.
Becker, in his report, said David told police he paid a syndicate allegedly smuggling people between South Africa and Namibia R50 000 to help him enter the country illegally.
In his report, Becker also dropped a bombshell when he reported that “discussions are allegedly ongoing between the countries’ two presidents”.
Ramaphosa acknowledged there was a robbery at his farm, but he denied he asked Namibian President Hage Geingob for help.
Ramaphosa also claims he wasn’t aware Wally Rhoode, the head of the Presidential Protection Service, tasked to investigate the robbery at his farm, had allegedly kidnapped and tortured the suspects to hand back the remaining loot.
Former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser, who opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa and Rhoode at Rosebank Police Station last week, said the president “sought the assistance of the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, in apprehending the suspect in Namibia”.
Fraser claims the robbers stole about $4-million. Geingob’s office issued a statement on Friday stating Fraser didn’t “make any allegation of criminality on the part of President Geingob”.
David, who spent more than four months in a Namibia jail, was the only one to be arrested. His four accomplices, who are Namibian nationals, weren’t as they returned to their country legally after the robbery.
David pleaded guilty to two charges on November 13, 2020, one for entering Namibia illegally and secondly for failing to declare goods he brought into the country. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail or N$5000 for account one and 24 months in jail or N$15 000 for account two.
He was also forced to forfeit his luxury watches, Rolex worth N€280 000 and Tag Hauer worth N$28 000, as well as a gold chain work N$163 000 and $1 100 cash.
He was given 48 hours to leave Namibia and returned to South Africa the following day. A close source to David said the man had planned to marry his fiancée in the summer of 2020, but everything fell apart when he was arrested.
“He is afraid of throwing a white wedding now because he suspects he might be arrested on his big day,” the source said.
Becker, in his report, added that South Africa “requested that the matter is handled with discretion“.
In his affidavit to the police, Fraser stated after Rhoode arrested the suspects, including Ramaphosa’s domestic worker, who informed them about the American dollars stuffed in her boss’s furniture, they were allegedly paid R150 000 each to buy their silence of the robbery.
Ramaphosa has maintained his hands are clean on this matter, but he has yet to explain where the money came from and why he didn’t bank it.