Jan 31, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Phala Phala ‘thief’ claims he was SA Army peacekeeper before life of luxury

The alleged mastermind behind the burglary of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Limpopo game farm told a Namibian court fantastic stories that came to light this week.

Imanuwela David said he was in office in 2020 wealthy real estate developer in Johannesburg in the SA army in Abu Dhabi, Mali, Iraq and Libya.

This emerges from a court record obtained by Albert Kawana, Minister of the Interior, Immigration, Security and the Namibian National Assembly on Thursday delivered security.

The transcript comes from a proceeding in the Karasburg Magistrate’s Court in which David was tried for crossing the Orange River in a canoe near the border on June 12, 2020 Vioolsdrif had crossed when cross-border travel was banned due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

David also claimed that this illegal crossing was to prevent a potential property development ng in Namibia.

According to former Director General of the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser, David was the mastermind behind the break-in at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phal farm on February 9, 2020, when he and accomplices allegedly at least stole $4 million hidden in a sofa.

David is yet to be arrested in connection with the alleged theft, which Fraser says was covered up amid attempts to get the money from the security unit of the President.

Long before Fraser’s June 1 affidavit named David as the mastermind, the alleged burglar played a central role in a scandal in Namibia.

After crossing the border at two luxury watches, a gold chain and Namibian and US currency worth approximately R488,000, David allegedly bribed former CEO of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), Paulus Ngalangi, and a Police sergeant, Hendrik Nghede, to facilitate his illegal entry.

Ngalangi and Nghede’s trial is expected to resume in July after they have pleaded not guilty.

David pleaded guilty to the Guilty of immigration and customs offenses and paid a R20,000 fine after telling the court he had three children aged 12, 8 and 8 months a nd that he was married.

His lawyer, Percy McNally, told the court that David was employed by a property developer in Fourways, Johannesburg.

“(David) graduated from high school in 2002 and joined the SA Army. He’s been to Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Mali and Libya doing peace work,” he said. The SA National Defense Force has not conducted peacekeeping operations in any of these countries.

According to McNally, David had no intention of illegally crossing the Oranje.” (David) was on his way to Swakopmund to scout out some development and he did not see himself returning to Pretoria after being told he would not be able to enter Namibia due to Covid-19; so he decided to enter Namibia at a different point of entry,” he said.

“It wasn’t a wise decision. (David) must now face the consequences of his impulsive actions, which negatively affect his feelings and money.”

Following his arrest, David tested positive for Covid-19 after speaking to Windhoek and the prosecutor Yeukai Kangira said he put the whole country at risk.

“(David) further cost taxpayers the Namibian government as he is quarantined along with all his traceable contacts from Karasburg to Windhoek had to. For these reasons, a deterrence penalty must be imposed on the defendant to deter him and potential offenders,” said Kangira.

“David was very light on the road”

In Mentioned in a confidential report former Namibian Police Commissioner Nelius Becker identified a “person of interest” involved in David’s movements across the border.

This “person of interest”, a business owner from Johannesburg, asked not to be named , TimesLIVE said he was asked by a friend to take David to Vioolsdrif where he was expected for a meeting.

“I only knew his name as Imma. He was traveling very light, he only had a backpack and his cell phone with him,” the man said, confirming that Imma was David when shown pictures of David.

He said they had for the Booked a night in a lodge with the expectation that he would take the person back to Pretoria the next day. However, David called him and told him that he would be staying there for a while and that he could return to Pretoria on his own.

‘He’s the nicest guy’

A close friend von David, who asked not to be identified, said people who knew him were shocked by what had come to light in Fraser’s affidavit and since.

“He’s the nicest guy if you know him. A very easygoing, down to earth and relaxed guy,” he said.

“He was very generous and caring towards other people, had many girlfriends and liked the flashy things, especially watches and Gucci clothes and clubbing. He sent me a bill, which he paid at Sneaker Cartel nightclub, where he spent R106,000 on seven bottles of Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Gold Brut and two Hubblies.

“I’m a watch collector, and on From the watches he wore, including a $150,000 Hublot, you can tell he can afford things.”

TimesLIVE has a copy of the nightclub’s bill, which includes David’s name and signature .

The friend said no one knew what David did, “and we can’t imagine he directed this burglary. I spoke to him recently and when I mentioned the burglary he laughed a lot about it, but he never confirmed or denied it.”

He said David’s friends always wondered where he got his money from von.

He said he believed that towards the end of last year David knew something was coming. “He’s been asking people to get him a passport but no one wants to help. We knew he was dying to leave SA.

“Suddenly between August 2021 and January 2022 David was selling his BMW M5, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes-Benz C63 and VW Golf R which was color matched to his rose gold one Hublot watch.

“He sold his Range Rover Sport for R1.6 million, his Golf for R650,000, his BMW M5 which was sprayed with colour-changing paint, Mercedes-Benz C63 for around R1.5m . Eventually he sold his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, which he bought when selling his other cars, for R2.5 million.

“Recently he wanted to sell his Porsche, which is worth about R7 million, but with all that goes on around him, his friends have gone out of business.”

The friend said while many of the cars were in his co-defendants’ names, the money from the sales always went up him.

TimesLIVE has the registration documents for David’s vehicles, which show that at least one is registered in the name of Urbanus Shaumbwako, one of the men accused of breaking into Ramaphosa’s farm.

“In December, he gave our friend $20,000 in clean, crisp bills, still wrapped. He claimed it came from a diamond deal he struck in November. He wanted the money to be used to buy a car. Our friend couldn’t exchange it, so David had someone come and buy them.”

The friend said that David went to Mozambique in December 2021, ostensibly for a diamond business.

” Previously He said he had to sell his Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and that R50,000 of that was apparently going to the people at the border.”

David did not respond to requests for comment.

< p>Several of David’s Instagram pictures from his now-deleted account also show that he began living a lavish lifestyle in 2018, well before the Phala-Phala slump, a fact pointed out in Becker’s report.

“An Instagram search revealed that (David) has two accounts. At first glance, his images reflect everyday posts and vehicles, and his looks appear to be average to poor. His second Instagram account, dated around April 2018, shows a noticeable change in his profile and he’s posting with better clothes and a more expensive vehicle,” Becker said. In December 2019 he posted: ‘I am proud to say that this is the beginning of wonderful changes in me, my family and my life’.”

Support independent journalism by supporting The Sunday Times subscribe to. Only 20 R for the first month.