Govt must answer on ODC

Govt must answer on ODC

POLITICAL pressure is mounting on Government to provide answers on the Offshore Development Company’s dodgy N$100 million investment deal.

As ODC officials continue to refuse to lift the lid on details of the deal, the Congress of Democrats yesterday demanded that the Minister of Trade and Industry play open cards with the National Assembly. CoD Vice President Nora Schimming-Chase said she was perturbed that the very people involved in the deal were “investigating themselves”.Stressing that Government was the major shareholder in both the ODC and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC), Schimming-Chase said Parliament needed to know more about the investment and requested Trade Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko to answer questions in the House next week.The ODC made the investment in instalments over two years, including N$55 million given to it from the NDC.It should have been repaid more than a year ago.Government funds the ODC and tens of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money is involved.Schimming-Chase wants to know whether or not the previous Minister of Trade, Jesaya Nyamu, had been in the dark about the investment as alleged, when he should have been required to sign off on the deal.Ngatjizeko has been asked to state the exact nature, terms and conditions of the more than N$99,8 million invested with Great Triangle Investments and Comserve Investments and to say whether checks were carried out on these companies.”Does Government know exactly where these funds are and what the reasons are for the delay [in repayment]?” asked Schimming-Chase.Schimming-Chase said she believed that there were serious allegations of corruption being levelled against officials in the Ministry of Trade, ODC and the NDC in connection with the investment.She emphasised that she did not deem it healthy that these very people were involved in the process to recover the money.Schimming-Chase further queried the timeframe for the completion of the investigation.She asked the Minister whether he planned to launch an independent investigation into the missing money and when this would happen.Ngatjizeko did not return calls by The Namibian to his office on Monday when phoned about the investigation.ODC Board Chairperson Gerdus Burmeister has told this newspaper that he would not make any information available on attempts to retrieve the money public.He has alleged that media reports have hampering their investigations.Burmeister and the CEO of the ODC and NDC CEO, Abdool Aboobakar, both signed off on the investment.The first of the investments was due to reach maturity more than a year ago.Both companies and Government as the shareholder have employed lawyers to track down the money and they have been sent to South Africa and Botswana in search of the missing millions.Great Triangle Investments and Comserve Investments are both companies of South Africans Philip Fourie and Tertius Theart, who, with the help of Namibian brokers, approached the ODC for the investment.Great Triangle Investments is registered in Botswana.CoD Vice President Nora Schimming-Chase said she was perturbed that the very people involved in the deal were “investigating themselves”.Stressing that Government was the major shareholder in both the ODC and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC), Schimming-Chase said Parliament needed to know more about the investment and requested Trade Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko to answer questions in the House next week.The ODC made the investment in instalments over two years, including N$55 million given to it from the NDC.It should have been repaid more than a year ago.Government funds the ODC and tens of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money is involved.Schimming-Chase wants to know whether or not the previous Minister of Trade, Jesaya Nyamu, had been in the dark about the investment as alleged, when he should have been required to sign off on the deal.Ngatjizeko has been asked to state the exact nature, terms and conditions of the more than N$99,8 million invested with Great Triangle Investments and Comserve Investments and to say whether checks were carried out on these companies. “Does Government know exactly where these funds are and what the reasons are for the delay [in repayment]?” asked Schimming-Chase.Schimming-Chase said she believed that there were serious allegations of corruption being levelled against officials in the Ministry of Trade, ODC and the NDC in connection with the investment.She emphasised that she did not deem it healthy that these very people were involved in the process to recover the money.Schimming-Chase further queried the timeframe for the completion of the investigation.She asked the Minister whether he planned to launch an independent investigation into the missing money and when this would happen.Ngatjizeko did not return calls by The Namibian to his office on Monday when phoned about the investigation.ODC Board Chairperson Gerdus Burmeister has told this newspaper that he would not make any information available on attempts to retrieve the money public.He has alleged that media reports have hampering their investigations.Burmeister and the CEO of the ODC and NDC CEO, Abdool Aboobakar, both signed off on the investment.The first of the investments was due to reach maturity more than a year ago.Both companies and Government as the shareholder have employed lawyers to track down the money and they have been sent to South Africa and Botswana in search of the missing millions.Great Triangle Investments and Comserve Investments are both companies of South Africans Philip Fourie and Tertius Theart, who, with the help of Namibian brokers, approached the ODC for the investment.Great Triangle Investments is registered in Botswana.

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