Johannesburg - One of the men accused of allegedly stealing millions of American dollars, estimated to be worth between $4 million to $8 million concealed in furniture, including mattresses, at President Cyril Ramaphosa's farm, is languishing in a Cape Town jail, for possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Sunday Independent can confirm that Urbanus Shaumbwako, a Namibian national with a South African identity book, was arrested in October 2020 for possessing an unlicensed firearm.
The gun is believed to have been used in several robberies. His arrest was kept under the radar.
He is expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court next month.
Shaumbwako is one of the five men named by former state security boss Arthur Fraser, in his affidavit to the police, as being responsible for the theft at Ramaphosa's Phala Phala Farm, in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, in February 2020.
Fraser opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa and his head of the Presidential Protection Unit, Wally Rhoode, for allegedly kidnapping and torturing five men, including Shaumbwako, to reveal where they had stashed their loot.
Ramaphosa didn't report the robbery to the police.
Fraser alleges, in his affidavit submitted at Rosebank Police Station, in Johannesburg, that after the five men made their confession and some of their loot recovered, Rhoode “instructed” Ramaphosa to pay them R150 000 each to buy their silence.
Fraser’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, issued a press statement confirming that his client met with members of the directorate for priority crime investigation (Hawks) probing the matter “in order to assist their investigation”.
“He has furnished the Hawks with additional information and details to enable them to do their work,” the statement said.
Sunday Independent broke the story online two weeks ago, on how the former spy boss opened criminal charges against Ramaphosa, detailing how the robbery was allegedly pulled off with the assistance of Ramaphosa’s helper. She, too, was allegedly paid R150 000 not to talk about the incident.
The men, all Namibian nationals, fled to Cape Town after the robbery and went on a shopping spree, buying cars, including a Lamborghini and a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, before fleeing to Namibia.
It is alleged that the heist mastermind, Immanuwela David, smuggled R7 million to Namibia, when he canoed through the Orange River on June 12, 2020, and entered the country illegally.
Two days later, he was arrested in the capital, Windhoek, for illegally entering Namibia and contravening the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
One of his alleged accomplices Erkki Shikongo bought a guest house for N$80 000 in Outapi, Namibia.
Fraser claims that Ramaphosa sought the help of his Namibian President Hage Geingob “in apprehending the suspect in Namibia”.
Geingob’s spokesperson Alfredo Hengari told Sunday Independent on Saturday that he can't comment on allegations that his President helped Ramaphosa to kidnap and torture Namibian citizens, as is alleged in Fraser’s affidavit.
Ramaphosa and Geingob have failed to come clean and explain their full roles in the scandal.
However, Ramaphosa has admitted that the robbery occurred at his farm. He has, however, failed to answer any relevant questions about the crime.
A confidential report, compiled by former Namibian Crime Investigations Department head Nelius Becker, dated June 21, 2020, and seen by Sunday Independent, stated that “discussions are allegedly ongoing between the countries’ two Presidents”. This has been vehemently denied by Geingob, in his media statement released last week.
After spending more than four months in a Namibian jail, David pleaded guilty to two charges on November 13, 2020 – one for entering Namibia illegally and the second for failing to declare goods he brought into the country. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail or N$5 000 for count one, and 24 months in prison or N$15 000 for count two.
He was also forced to forfeit his luxury watches, a 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.