The self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the New Jerusalem Ministry of God of all Nations at Rundu, Jafet Johannes, who allegedly ran a pyramid scheme, was yesyerday remanded in custody after the state objected to his formal bail application.
Johannes yesterday appeared in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court for the second time, following his arrest on 26 April, after a warrant of arrest against him was issued on 19 April this year.
It is alleged that Johannes, known as ‘oracle Jafet Johannes’, defrauded Renilde Kudumo, among others, of N$289 000 by convincing her to invest in a cryptocurrency scheme known as Trongrace.
During his first court appearance, the state opposed bail due to the seriousness of the case, noting it would not be in the interest of the public.
The state maintains this stance, and more charges are expected to be registered against Johannes.
The state fears he may abscond and interfere with police investigations.
The case was postponed to 29 May.
Samson Enkali of Kadhila Amoomo of Kadhila Amoomo Legal Practitioners represented Johannes.
“The state is still objecting to bail, and we will come and present our case concerning bail for our client,” Enkali said after the court procedure.
Meanwhile, a group of people at the court protested against granting Johannes bail.
“I want my money, you thief. Scammer, fake pastor,” reads one of the protesters’ posters.
“Pay back the money, JJ. Keep him in jail until he pays back,” reads another.
In January, The Namibian reported on allegations that Johannes scammed individuals out of thousands of dollars they had invested in Trongrace, trading as TRX.
One of Trongrace’s alleged victims, Helena Jacob, says she invested N$10 000.
It’s alleged that about N$14 million in investor money ‘disappeared’ in November last year.
Jacob was allegedly promised returns of 300% after six months, a 20% referral reward commission from all levels up to 11 generations, and 1% to 2% every 24 hours.
One of her referrals allegedly invested over N$40 000 after he had taken out a loan, expecting returns on the investment.
Johannes in January told The Namibian he did not owe anyone anything, because he did not invite them to join the platform.
He said he started the platform in September 2021 in Malawi.
According to him, people who joined the platform were from Europe and taught him about cryptocurrency.
Johannes allegedly became a millionaire through the same platform in the same year.
The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has since the emergence of the cryptocurrency industry warned people against participating in financial schemes without licences and schemes that promise high returns, as well as those using social media platforms for transactions.
The BoN has also warned against schemes requiring members to recruit others or joining fees.