Windhoek High Court Judge Orben Sibeya yesterday ordered both Sisa Namandje, who is representing convicted drug dealers Grant Noble and Dinath Azhar, and State advocate Timo Itula to provide him with additional information.
The judge said they must give him that in writing on the testimony of chief inspector Charles Goagoseb on the bail application of Noble (41) and Azhar (66) in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court, and the possibility of tampering with the container when it was trans-shipped in the Cape Town harbour. He wants the additional information before the next hearing on 27 March. Sibeya in October 2022 sentenced Noble and Azhar to an effective jail term of seven years each. The duo is now appealing this sentence.
This came after Namandje argued that the testimonies of Goagoseb differed materially during his evidence in the bail application, and his evidence in the main trial.
The defence lawyer said vast discrepancies in the two versions is material, and could have an impact on the appeal hearing. He said in the bail hearing, the police officer defended commissioner Sylvanus Ngishidimbwa’s fraudulent obtaining of the search warrant to open and search the container, and his second version that the fraudulent warrant was not used to open and search the container. The container in question is the one they imported from Brazil, and which was ostensibly containing copy paper. However, upon opening the container, the police found 412kg of cocaine worth an estimated N$206 million.
The cocaine was hidden between the copy paper boxes.
Namandje also asked the court to consider whether an offence was committed by the convicts. According to him, they cannot be held personally liable for an offence committed by a corporate entity. He further said there is no proof of who put the cocaine in the container, as no investigations were carried out to that effect. All these unexplained circumstances put a dent in the State’s case, he said.
He further made mention of the email correspondence between Noble and the people in Brazil, which only mentions copy paper. This, the lawyer said, is conclusive proof that the transaction was above board.
Itula, on the other hand, argued that the two applicants have no prospects of success. He said the High Court weighed up all the evidence for and against the applicants, and came to a just conclusion. With regards to the emails, he said it does not prove anything as no one in his right mind would explicitly mention contraband in email correspondence. “That would be as good as painting a target on your back for the authorities,” he added.
He said the court was correct in its finding that the applicants used the closed corporation as a front for their illegal activities, and as such are the persons responsible for importing the largest amount of cocaine in the history of Namibia.
With regards to Namandje’s contention that the court should have taken the evidence of two witnesses who claimed to have been approached by two white men who claimed to have knowledge of the cocaine powder in the container and wanted them to remove it against payment into consideration, Itula said those witnesses were the worst he had ever seen. -email@example.com