Namibian linked to theft on Phala Phala farm suspect gets 20 years on fresh arms counts

Millions of dollars in undeclared foreign currency were stolen at the farm of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Millions of dollars in undeclared foreign currency were stolen at the farm of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Published Apr 25, 2024


A Namibian, publication, “The Nambian”, has reported that one of the five Namibians accused of breaking into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in February 2020 where millions in American dollars stuffed in couches were stolen, was last week sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The man, identified as Urbanus Shaumbwako (41), was reportedly sentenced by the Cape Town Regional Court last Thursday on charges of possession of prohibited firearms, defeating or obstructing the end of justice, negligent and reckless driving.

The news of his sentencing was confirmed by Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Thandi Mbambo, in a statement, saying Shaumbwako was sentenced to a combined 185 years but will serve 20 years.

Mbambo said this comes after Shaumbwako’s arrest on October 18, 2020.

It is reported that before his arrest at about 8am, the City of Cape Town Traffic officials were busy with a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) in Blaauwberg Road before Pottsdam Road.

“The police noticed a white VW Polo with registration no CAA 1726 73 slowing down acting suspiciously. Traffic officials stopped the vehicle to check the driver’s licence and to search the boot. The driver then got out of the vehicle to open the boot when one of the traffic officials noticed a red bag on the passenger-side floor.”

The vehicle drove off and traffic officials gave chase and managed to block the vehicle in Du Noon where the driver crashed into a taxi. The traffic officials managed to catch the driver and got hold of the red bag. “When they opened the bag, it contained a number of firearms,“ the Hawks said.

The accused has since been in custody following his arrest until he was found guilty on March 18.

“All the charges, 15-17, are taken together for the purpose of sentencing to two (2) years direct imprisonment. Effectively, the accused will serve 20 years direct imprisonment. Additionally, the court declared that the accused is unfit to possess a firearm,” Mbambo added.

The Namibian is one of five suspects linked to the Phala Phala farm theft alongside Imanuwela David, 40, who was charged alongside siblings Froliana Joseph, who was a domestic worker at the Phala Phala farm, and her brother, Ndilinasho Joseph.

The alleged mastermind behind the heist, David, was denied bail in December as the Bela Bela Magistrate’s Court ruled that he could evade justice if released.

In 2022, The Falcons, Independent Media’s investigative unit, reported that information obtained by its probe showed that at least $4 million (R76m) was stolen at Ramaphosa’s farm. Additional information also revealed that more than $100m more was hidden.

The Star

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