Law society withdraws Sisa Namandje appeal
The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) has withdrawn its appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court judgment which refused it access to inspect local lawyer Sisa Namandje firm’s trust account.
The society instituted an appeal after High Court Judge Herman Oosthuizen in August dismissed with cost LSN’s application for a search and seizure warrant, authorising it to inspect financial records at Sisa Namandje & Co Inc.
The court at the time ruled the application was not properly and lawfully authorised.
In addition, LSN failed to prove that they had reasonable belief Namandje and his firm were guilty of unsatisfactory conduct beyond that the firm is accused of being involved in the Fishrot matter.
However, on 20 October, LSN withdrew its appeal in the Supreme Court and court records indicate that no reasons were filled.
LSN took a decision on 24 January to have two local law firms who were linked to the Fishrot case audited.
They also took a decision to apply for a search and seizure warrant to gain access to such law firms’ records if they refuse an audit.
LSN took the decision after the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) brought to the attention of the law society their concerns about suspicious transactions involving
Namandje law firm’s trust account that they had picked up.
The transactions in question involve N$15 million paid on 1 December 2015 from State-owned fishing company, the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) into Namandje’s trust account.
From this amount, Namandje or his directors allegedly made a payment amounting to N$2.1 million into the trust account of Van Der Westhuizen & Greeff on 3 December 2015.
A payment of N$7.6 million was made on 3 December 2015 to Baby Face Investments CC, a company owned by businessman Vaino Nghipondoka.
Again, on 3 December 2015, N$ 5.2 million was paid to Gwashihwemwa Family Trust, where Swapo politician Armas Amukwiyu is a trustee.
The total of the above outward transfers comes to N$14.9 million, leaving a balance of N$60 000.
On 4 August 2017, Namandje’s firm trust received N$2.5 million from Fishcor.
From this amount, FIC did not observe any large payouts.
The third transaction of concern occurred on 28 August 2017, where N$5 million was paid to Namandje’s firm trust by Mermaria Seafood Namibia (Pty) Ltd.
Following this transaction, a payout of N$4 million was directed to the account of Gabriel Kandjengo on 28 August 2017.
Another payment of N$1.1 million was made to a Nedbank home loan account of Namandje.
Another payment of N$1.4 million was deposited from Namandje’s trust account on 7 September 2017 to lawyer Sacky Kadhila-Amoomo.