19 March 2018

Namibia: Ya Toivo's Former Assistant Walks Free

Photo: Joe Gratz/Flickr
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Windhoek — Elia Shoopala Kapofi, a former long-serving assistant to late anti-apartheid veteran icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, last week walked out of the Windhoek Magistrate's Court a free man.

Kapofi (49), who stood accused of stealing from Ya Toivo about N$71,000, became a free man last week when his case was struck from the court roll.

Making his mandatory court appearance before Magistrate Brand van Pletzen on bail of N$10,000, Kapofi was informed that his case has been struck from the roll and had his bail money refunded.

According to the state, the whereabouts of Kapofi's criminal docket were unknown last week. Kapofi's case was on the court's roll for the prosecutor-general's decision on whether Kapofi should be charged or not; and if he was to be charged, on what charges. The PG was also to decide on where Kapofi would attend his trial. According to the previous proceedings in November 2017, the docket was to be sent to the prosecutor-general for decision.

However, during court proceedings last week, there was no information regarding the prosecutor-general's decision.

"The docket was not sent on the last occasion and this is unacceptable. We do not even know if the docket was ever sent," noted Kapofi's defense attorney Kadhila Amoomo, further objecting to a postponement.

With some of the prosecutors attending a training session, the assigned state prosecutor was not available in court to shed light on the PG's decision or the docket itself.

Kapofi was arrested on August 18, 2017, on charges of theft and fraud. The prosecution was alleging that Kapofi wrongfully and intentionally withdrew about N$71,000 from the late Ya Toivo's account on February 2, 2017. It is alleged that Kapofi, having been Ya Toivo's aide for a very long time, was trusted with the deceased banking details that on occasions he would withdraw money for the late Ya Toivo's household expenses.

Kapofi allegedly withdrew the money illegally months before Ya Toivo's passing in June 2017.

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