Former Telecom Namibia procurement manager Ivan Ganes was sentenced in the Windhoek High Court to an effective two years imprisonment plus a fine of N$100 000 or two years for defrauding the parastatal of some N$1,12 million.

The two years effective prison term is part of an eight-year sentence, of which six years are suspended for six years. The 49-year-old Ganes pleaded guilty on 13 counts of fraud last month in the High Court.

Sentencing Ganes, Judge Kato van Niekerk said Ganes had shown remorse for his involvement in the corruption and fraud at Telecom Namibia and had done a lot to demonstrate his remorse and tried to compensate Telecom for the losses it had suffered as a result of the fraud that Ganes said he and three co-perpetrators were involved in.

Van Niekerk also stated that Ganes had shown willingness to assist with the further investigation of corruption at Telecom and in the prosecution of his alleged conspirators.

However, Van Niekerk highlighted that the crime was committed out of greed and the courts need to send a clear message that it views corruption in a serious light. The fraud was perpetrated repeatedly over a period of nine months between 22 March and 14 December 2000.

Ganes admitted that he fraudulently under-invoiced a Windhoek scrap dealer, Dresselhaus Scrap CC, for copper wire that the firm was buying from Telecom Namibia and that he unlawfully allowed the firm to make Telecom Namibia pay for removing the copper wire from redundant phone lines.

In the process, Telecom earned some N$419 459 less than it should have from the sale of the copper wire, and it lost an additional N$705 709 because of the removal costs paid to Dresselhaus Scrap.

It was reported that Ganes had already suffered civil justice and had lost everything that he illegally earned through the scam after Telecom Namibia had his estate sequestrated in South Africa.

Some N$1,22 million was paid from his estate to Telecom to compensate the parastatal for its losses. He joined Telecom Namibia in 1995 as the company's procurement manager, earning of salary of about N$15 000 per month. He is a first offender, as he has no record of previous criminal offences.

New Era