SA seeks extradition of two Phala Phala-linked locals

ALREADY IN THE DOCK … Imanuwela David in the dock with Froliana Joseph, who was a domestic worker at the Phala Phala farm. Photo: IOL

The South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is pursuing the extradition of two more suspects in the Phala Phala farm theft, who are believed to be in Namibia.

NPA Limpopo province spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi confirmed this to The Namibian yesterday. She declined to provide the names, sex or nationality of the suspects.

“I can’t disclose their names at this moment; they are not in court yet. This part of investigations is very sensitive, how they are linked. It’s a no-no,” she said.

Malabi-Dzhangi said the process to extradite the two suspects from Namibia to South Africa has not commenced.

She said three suspects, Imanuwela David, Froliana Joseph and their younger brother David Ndilinasho, appeared in the Bela Bela Magistrate’s Court on Friday and the matter was postponed to 26 April for further investigation.

“The state requested postponement to finalise outstanding investigations, which involve the assistance of third parties, like cellphones records and video footage,” she said.

The three siblings, Joseph, Ndilinasho and David, were arrested at Bela Bela and Rustenburg last year.

Joseph and Ndilinasho were later released on bail.

They were arrested on charges of housebreaking and theft, and an additional charge of money laundering for David, who has been denied bail.

The siblings are linked to the theft of U$580 000 from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in February 2020, alongside Namibian nationals Petrus Muhekeni, Urbanus Shaumwako, Petrus Afrikaner and Erkki Shikongo.

Joseph and Ndilinasho are accused of guiding David, Shikongo, Muhekeni, Shaumbwako and Afrikaner to cash hidden in a couch in Ramaphosa’s farmhouse.

As she made her second appearance in Bela Bela Magistrate’s Court last year, Joseph said she was innocent and intended to prove her innocence during her trial.

She told the court at the time that she may be acquitted on the charges.

“I plead not guilty to the charges brought against me. I deny any involvement in the commitment of any offences,” she said in her affidavit.

Joseph said she has a baby who suffers from a medical condition and needs to be in her care. She said the state had a “weak case against her and it is open to serious doubt”.

According to her, if granted bail, she would not interfere with any state witness as she does not know any potential witness in the matter.

She said she was born at Bela Bela in 1992 and does not have any relatives outside the borders of South Africa. Joseph said she dropped out of school in 2012 while in Grade 10.

“I do not have any assets outside the borders of South Africa. I do not possess any formal qualification. I am currently unemployed and my last employment was at Phala Phala in 2021 as a casual worker,” she said. Joseph said she does not own any property in South Africa as she lives with her parents. “I have no source of income. I do not own any asset of value,” she said.

Her brother Ndilinasho, who was born 1996, does not have any relatives or assets outside the borders of South Africa either, he said.

He said that he dropped out of school in Grade 1.

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