A GROOTFONTEIN farmer, who was swindled out of 24 cattle by someone using the name of Youth and Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo, has offered an unconditional apology to the minister for having mistaken him for someone else.
Max Beyer told The Namibian this week that he is sorry to have dragged the name of Ekandjo into the matter through "misjudgement".
In an article published in The Namibian on December 7, Beyer threatened to report Ekandjo to the police for not having paid for the slaughtered cattle bought from Beyer by someone who pretended to be Ekandjo.
Following publication of the report, Ekandjo demanded a public apology from Beyer in all Namibian newspapers.
Ekandjo's lawyers, Metcalfe Attorneys, told the fraud victim last Friday that he had "concocted" the story with the "specific purpose of injuring our client's reputation".
Beyer last Friday also laid a charge against unknown persons for defrauding him under the guise that they were buying the meat on behalf of Ekandjo.
Metcalfe accused Beyer of not providing all information to the investigating officer when he laid the charge, saying there were loopholes in his evidence.
The attorney said they had found that cattle bearing Beyer's brand were offered for sale at a "very low price" at a cattle auction held at Otjiwarongo on November 29.
Initially, when Beyer called The Namibian to relate his story about Ekandjo refusing to pay for the meat and livestock, Beyer was convinced that he had dealt with minister in person.
However, when he realised that he might have been a victim of a swindler, Beyer acknowledged that he might have been taken for a fool.
Beyer showed The Namibian two invoices showing that he sold 24 slaughtered cattle on November 26 and 28. The meat was collected from his farm at night by a truck on two occasions.
The people who scammed Beyer also wanted a loan of N$10 million from him for "Ekandjo to use at the Swapo congress to buy votes in order to win the elections", Beyer told The Namibian.
"Such monies were allegedly needed to fund such campaign and if the funds were advanced you were promised that Mr Leon Jooste [former minister] would be made minister of agriculture and you would become the advisor to the honourable Leon Jooste," Metcalfe stated in his letter to Beyer.
The scammers told Beyer that a house Ekandjo owns in Kleine Kuppe, Windhoek, would be used as collateral for the loan.
Beyer said the meat was collected at his farm, and he dealt with "Ekandjo and a certain Willy Augusto" whom he had never met before.
Beyer emailed the invoice to a free Gmail address, which Ekandjo said did not belong to him. Beyer was also given a postal address and telephone number that do not belong to Ekandjo.