Credibility of Comalie’s Case Questioned

Steve Nashama

The credibility of the arrest and the State’s case against Namcor Chairperson, Jennifer Comalie, has been called into question after it was revealed by the Minister of Finance and State Owned Enterprises , Iipumbu Shiimi that as early as last week she alerted him and the Minister of Mines, Tom Alweendo that she feared for her life.

Comalie was arrested on Monday under suspicious circumstances in connection with dealing in drugs. She was subsequently granted bail yesterday afternoon in the amount of N$ 7000 when she made her first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. State Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk did not object to the granting of bail.

Comalie made it known to Shiimi and Alweendo that her life and that of her daughter was in danger, days before her arrest, in a purported set up.

It was revealed yesterday in a letter by Iipumbu, addressed to Police Inspector General Joseph Shikongo that he and Alweendo knew Comalie feared for her life, yet authorities didn’t act.

In a country where Gender based violence is rife, Comalie’s case is yet another example of how the system lets victims down.

Comalie’s matter was heard in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court late in the afternoon, as the Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa spent the entire day studying the docket.

The court was further informed that the drugs found in Comalie’s official vehicle are valued at N$ 57 000. Investigations revealed that 935 grams of marijuana, 10 grams of cocaine as well as 60 pieces of crack cocaine were found in a lunch box under her seat.

There are also many speculations surrounding Comalie’s arrest, with some sources saying it was a plot made specifically to silence her, amidst rising concerns about power struggles with the Namcor management.

Imalwa was roped in immediately to decide whether or not to prosecute Comalie.

Prominent figures, including Alweendo and others were present at court. The gallery was also filled with curious members of the public, friends and family members of Comalie as well as her colleagues.

Her team of Lawyers, including Windhoek based Lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff has not yet made a statement on the matter. It is reported that Comalie is also competing for the Chief Executive Officer position at the Development Bank of Namibia, and that she was set to be interviewed yesterday.

Shiimi yesterday sent a letter to police Inspector General Joseph Shikongo, requesting him to conduct a security threat assessment and provide the necessary security support for Comalie, who she said informed him and Alweendo about threats she received. She particularly raised safety concerns about her and her daughter.

Shiimi, in the letter, indicated that Comalie recently informed him and Alweendo that she was informed that people are not happy with her work at Namcor and that “unspecified actions” will be taken against her.

Shikongo has, in the meantime ordered an immediate and thorough investigation to be carried out in connection with the person who tipped off the police on the presence of drugs in Comalie’s car on Monday, which led to her arrest. Police reported on Monday that an intelligence led operation led to the suspect’s arrest.

Shikongo also acknowledged receiving the letter from IIpumbu, adding that they will investigate the entire matter in its totality, including the origin of the source, and to ascertain the credibility of the informant. He added that “the truth will come out”.

However, the police boss maintained the position of the identity of any informant is highly protected by the police.

The police have launched a full-scale investigation into the threats made towards Comalie. A leading female lawyer who didn’t want to be named stated that, In a country where gender based violence is rife, Comalie’s case is yet another example of how the system lets victims down.

“Comalie feared for her life and yet authorities didn’t act. They knew something will be done to her and nothing was done to protect her. We are seeing yet another case of a woman warning authorities about her life being endangered and nothing happens until it’s too late. Shiimi’s letter came too little too late,” the lawyer protested.

The case has been postponed to 31 July 2023 for further investigations.

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