I paid N$1m – Kapofi on settling SME Bank liquidators case

MINISTER of defence and veterans affairs Frans Kapofi says he paid N$1 million to settle a court case with SME Bank’s liquidators to avoid a protracted legal dispute.

This is what Kapofi told The Namibian on Thursday.

“I paid N$1 million,” he said.

Kapofi said he had consulted with his lawyers, who advised him the case could drag on for years and that the chances of it going to court in a year or two were slim.

The former SME Bank chairperson and other directors are accused of enabling the theft of N$200 million from SME Bank.

Kapofi has denied any wrongdoing, and said he could not have foreseen that the theft would occur.

“I had nothing to do with the money that was lost. I could not have foreseen that they were going to steal,” he said.

Documents show that Kapofi and other directors were paid board fees by SME Bank.

“They said this was going to be expensive and endless, and the chances that this thing goes to court in a year or two are slim,” he said.

“I would not have settled the case if it was not for the possibility of a prolonged court case process. I decided to let bygones be bygones,” he said.

Kapofi received a N$700 000 SME Bank loan in June 2014 to buy equipment for his farm.

Three years ago, liquidators said six former SME Bank board directors were reckless and allowed Zimbabwean national Enock Kamushinda free rein to steal N$200 million from the bank.

“They [the directors] failed generally to act honestly and in good faith, or in the best interest, or for the benefit of SME Bank and its depositors, and therefore recklessly failed in the performance of their functions as directors of SME Bank,” the liquidators said.

One of the main demands of the liquidators is that the High Court declares “that the defendants are jointly and severally liable to the plaintiffs, without any limitations, for all/any of the debts or other liabilities of SME Bank”.

Liquidators have targeted Kapofi, secretary to the Cabinet George Simataa, and former trade permanent secretary Andrew Ndishishi.

The others are the Social Security Commission’s chief executive, Milka Mungunda, Namibia’s commercial counsellor to the United States, Petrina Nakale, and businessman Justus Hausiku.

*Read more in today’s The Namibian.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!