GIPF case not heard for lack of magistrates

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

THE case of the only person to be prosecuted in the N$660 million Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) fraud saga could not go ahead in the Oshakati regional court this week as there were no magistrates available.

Dominikus Shivute was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday but two senior officials at the court said the hearing could not proceed as planned because there was no magistrate to preside over the case. He was charged last year under the Insolvency Act and also with fraud related to GIPF investments.

Shivute, who ran a business called BSAE, which was also known as Kamulunga to tu felekenye, made his first appearance in court on 3 October last year in connection with the alleged fraud, whereupon the case was postponed to 14 January this year.

Shivute told Confidente last year that he obtained a N$6 million loan from GIPF that he used to buy machinery for his garage, which has since been liquidated. However, court documents show that Shivute used part of the money to buy vehicles.

Among the cars he apparently acquired was an Isuzu KBE valued at N$123,334 bought on 12 August 2000; an Opel Corsa 170D acquired at an amount of N$73 657 bought on 7 August 2000; and a Mercedes Benz 6-tonne truck that he purchased from Africa Auctioneers in April 2001.

Documents further revealed that on 22 October 2002 near BSAE headquarters, Shivute unlawfully and with intent to defraud misrepresented to the deputy sheriff of Tsumeb, John Pulleston (the liquidator), that the vehicles were not the properties or in the lawful possession of BSAE.

It has been reported that much of the N$660 million, which GIPF originally disbursed through its now defunct Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) to various companies as investment into varying business portfolios, was never traced.

Shivute has indicated that he will conduct his own legal defense, although it was not immediately clear at the time of going to print when his next appearance in court would be.