During May 2020 a senior member of my party, the RDP, Mr Nicanor Ndjoze, in cooperation with at
least one senior executive at City of Windhoek, Mr Reckliff Kandjoramuine attempted to bribe me in order for me to “stop resisting” the City of Windhoek / Huawei telecommunications deal, and more particularly, the MoU that would enable that deal.
I reported this to the Namibian Police and Commissioner Cornelius Becker assisted me in collecting the evidence of this corruption, which included a wire tap when I met with Recliff Kandjoramuine on 20 May 2020, on request of, and transported by Mr Ndjoze, to discuss the bribe. Commissioner Becker was subsequently removed from his position, and from this case, a few days after I provided the police with my affidavit on the matter.
As no inspector from CID could provide me with any feedback on the case, for several weeks after the removal of Commissioner Becker, I became very concerned and requested from Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, in writing, his personal assurance that the evidence remain safe, as well as the name of the new investigating officer. On 20 July 2020 Inspector General Ndeitunga replied, stating the evidence remain safe, and that this case was transferred to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
At first, and only upon request, I was informed by the ACC that the case will be finalised by the end of September 2020. By the end of September 2020, I received no word on the matter, except for a change of investigators on this matter within the ACC.
I was later informed that the ACC is spending time investigating an alleged affidavit by one Maria Cynthia Beukes, in which affidavit I am accused of corruption. In this same affidavit the smart city concept, on which the Huawei deal is being promoted by some in City of Windhoek, is praised by this Maria Cynthia Beukes as “a good thing for the community”. The person who wrote this document clearly had insight in my communication with two media agencies, as the affidavit mentioned these agencies pertinently, and by name, even before any of the two agencies broke the story in the public.
I commissioned private investigations on this affidavit and the investigator inter alia obtained written confirmation from Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga that the purported “commissioner of oath” on the alleged affidavit is not a person employed at the Namibian Police, although this is clearly stated in that affidavit as a person from the “Namibian Police Force”. This, and more evidence on the false affidavit, were also provided to law enforcement, under oath, with an additional charge of fraud.
During the beginning of October 2020, it came to my attention that the ACC is investigating the Maria Cynthia Beukes affidavit, while I obtained no indication that my original complaint of corruption is being investigated. As I have never seen the original of the Beukes affidavit, having seen same only on social media, I requested that this document be inspected at the ACC by my
lawyer at least, only insofar as to establish that the ACC is actually proceeding with investigations based on an original document.
The investigating officer at the ACC refused to even confirm that they have an original document and my lawyer was instructed to approach Mr Paulus Noa in writing, which he did. Mr Noa replied in writing, and again the ACC refused to confirm that it has an original affidavit of Beukes on file, nor were my lawyer allowed to inspect the alleged document to ascertain that it is at least an original. At this point I have little faith left in the bona fides of either the Namibian Police or the ACC.
City of Windhoek and institutional failure
Also, in May 2020 I requested the Management Committee of City of Windhoek, through the Council, to provide me with several documents and explanations pertaining to the proposed Huawei deal. This information was never forthcoming, with the Management Committee recently resolving that my request for information cannot be complied with as it has been “overtaken by events”. I reverted to lawyers to deal with this matter, as the requested information is crucially needed by me as a Councillor who needs to take informed decisions and protect the residents of the city.
Despite several letters from my lawyers to the city, the City of Windhoek ignored the deadlines and until today has not provided the requested information. Only the opposition parties at Council support my request for information to properly assess the intended 5G deal. The councillors of the ruling party do not appear to have any issue in taking decisions in the absence of such information.
The RDP and institutional failure
During June 2020 the President of the RDP, Mr Mike Kavekotora, in his position as the head of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the RDP, requested Mr Ndjoze and me to provide him with a written explanation on what transpired in the reported corruption matter. I duly provided my explanations to him in writing.
Since then I requested Mr Kavekotora several times to at least confirm that Mr Ndjoze did the same, and provided his written explanations. Until today I have not received a confirmation, or any reply from Mr Kavekotora on the matter.
I also requested Mr Kavekotora to hold an urgent party NEC meeting, as nothing was forthcoming from him otherwise (despite his claim in the media that an investigation would be held and all members will be informed of the outcome). On this request too, and until today, Mr Kavekotora has ignored me.
A new beginning as the fight continues
This fight against corruption came at great peril to myself and my family. I have been intimidated and suspect the use of state apparatus in this. I received first-hand information that other witnesses were also intimidated in similar fashion, but such witnesses were too afraid to report such intimidation; understandably so.
I pause to state that I am extremely disappointed in the Minister of Justice delaying the enactment of the Whistle Blowers Act, on the premise that government cannot afford the N$160 million it will cost to protect whistle blowers like me, this while corrupt politicians and government officials have carte blanche to rob this country of billions.
I do not believe the Honourable Minister fully understands the extreme hardship and intimidation whistle blowers are subjected to, not only at the hand of the players in corrupt deals, but at the hands of government institutions being used to cover the corruption and intimidate witnesses. I live in constant fear as it has become apparent that my communications are highly likely being intercepted, and I believe only government has the means to do so.
I can assure the Namibian people that I will not rest until this corruption is exposed, fully. It has however become clear to me, from the institutional failure described above, that my fight against this corruption will not succeed under the RDP, as the RDP in fact contributed to my perilous situation, let alone providing me with any support.
It is for this reason that I have decided to resign as member of the RDP effective 9 October 2020. I will be joining the Republican Party (RP) as from Monday 12 October 2020 as I regard the RP as a party with strong values, which takes action to fight the cancer of corruption, instead of only uttering hollow words to that effect, which false promise does not benefit a single Namibia, let alone the youth who is being robbed of their futures.
I thank the RP for welcoming me with open arms, as well as its proven support to take this fight forward, even at a time when it received no political benefit to do so, and did so solely for the purpose of making our country a better place for future generations.
By Cllr Brunhilde Cornelius, In my capacity as: Serving councillor on the Council of City of Windhoek Municipality