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“The request which the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development received was not specifically in relation to Mr David Immanuwela only as intimated by our sister nation’s police force.

It is not correct that there was no response from South Africa on the requested mutual legal assistance in the case involving Mr David.

The Central Authority of the Republic of South Africa has transmitted correspondence through the diplomatic channels to set the record straight with the Namibian authorities.

During September 2020, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) forwarded a Note Verbale from the High Commission for the Republic of Namibia and attached thereto a request for mutual legal assistance dated 13 August 2020, by the authorities in Namibia, to the Department.

In the request, the authorities in Namibia requested assistance from South Africa in a criminal investigation relating to the contravention of Section 4, 5 and 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 2004, (Act No. 29 of 2004) of Namibia.

The request was first referred to the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU) of the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that the request does not involve foreign bribery, as South Africa acceded to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Convention against Bribery of Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Bribery Convention) during 2007.

The request was thereafter returned to the Department by the SCCU with a recommendation that the request be processed.

The matter was allocated to an official within the Chief Directorate: International Legal Relations to process the request.

The request was perused and found that it did not comply with the provisions of the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Act, 1996 (Act No: 75 of 1996) (ICCMA).

The request could therefore not be processed at that stage. The request was returned to DIRCO on 18 May 2021, accompanied by a letter indicating to the authorities in Namibia how the request should be amended to enable South Africa to render the necessary assistance.

On 31 August 2021, DIRCO sent an electronic Note Verbale to the High Commission of the Republic of Namibia, highlighting the feedback from the Department and requesting the authorities to amend the request.

On 1 September 2021, the High Commission of the Republic of Namibia acknowledged receipt of the Note Verbale.

Since then, the authorities in Namibia have not sent an amended request back to South Africa. The Chief Directorate: International Legal Relations was previously requested to confirm whether a request for mutual legal assistance relating to Mr David Imanuwela had been received from the authorities in Namibia.

The request could not be located, as the file was opened under a different name. The request related to an investigation of docket Noordoewer CR 14/06/2020, in which Mr David was one of three suspects.

The other two suspects are Messrs Petrus Afrikaner and Erkki Shikango. On 16 June 2022, the Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force, released a press statement which detailed amongst others, a meeting between the police authorities of South Africa and Namibia where certain operational information was allegedly shared on Mr David and other Namibian nationals suspected of having stolen money from South Africa and fled to Namibia.

At this point we are waiting for amended request the assistance still be desired.”

-Karyn Maughan