SOUTH AFRICA: – South Sudan’s Ambassador in South Africa Mr Philip Jada Natana and his Deputy Mr John Simon Yor fraud more than half a million US dollars public funds by inflating the price of property to be purchasing as South Sudan’s Embassy Chancery in Pretoria, South Africa
In the early December 2015, Mr Philip Jada Natana, Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan to the Republic of South Africa and his Deputy Ambassador John Simon Yor have submitted a fake quotation amount of one million two hundred United State of America dollars ($1.2m) to the government of South Sudan to purchase the embassy of South Sudan’s Chancery in Pretoria, South Africa, while the actual price of the building is only six hundred ninety thousands United State of America dollars ($690,000), which is equal to South African Rand ten million (R10m) according to South African current foreign exchange rate dollar to rand.
Unfortunately, the house price was inflated by five hundred ten thousand United State of America dollars ($510,000) by Ambassador Philip Jada Natana to squander the public fund that can be seen as direct abuse of trust and power. It is absurd that Ambassador Philip Jada Natana abused and betrayed his good relationships and trust with the President to secure the public money in fraud manner. He got the approval of money in the late December 2015, despite the economic crisis in which the country have been going through where the Missions abroad went for more than five months without salaries, operations and rents.
On 31 March 2016, the government of South Sudan transferred $1.2m to the Embassy of South Sudan in Pretoria in order to buy the property. Prior to the release of the money, Ambassador Natana made a dirty technique by assigning two diplomats from Warrap the home state of the President, Ambassador Mou Mou Ring and Mr Ajing Deng Ajing who is currently working for the Office of the President to make follow up on the money and promised them a commission of 10% of money. However, two weeks after transferring of money, Ambassador Mou Ring who has been in Juba since December, flights to Pretoria with aim to collect their promised shares and at the same time claimed that he was sent by the Office of the President as a committee to purchase the building. However, on the 18th of April 2016, he returned to Juba after one week busy meetings with Ambassador Philip Jada Natana and his Deputy John Simon.
Ambassador Philip Jada Natana refused to involve anybody including the national and military security staff at the embassy on the procedures of purchasing the property, despite the fact that it is a public property being bought with public fund. He used to threaten everybody at the embassy that the money was from the Office of the President and he has good relationships with the President no one has the power and right at the embassy to question him for accountability and transparency of the money. A number of the meetings were held at the Embassy in attempting to engage Ambassador Philip Jada that the building could be bought in a transparency manner failed.
It is worth mentioned in this report that South African’s law requires that before both seller and buyer engage in any sort of negotiations on price and others of property, the seller or owner of the property must present the certificate of Municipal and property valuations to the buyer to confirm worthiness of the property. This also contributes to how to charge the price of the property. It is also importance to mention that if the proper channel of buying the properties in South Africa had been followed, the price of this property would have been much less than this price is charging now. Unfortunately, the Ambassador didn’t follow and don’t want to follow any of those mention criteria due to personal interests.
Staff at the Embassy made a number of suggestions that committee should be formed to evaluate the building and any amount of money remain should be used to upgrade the Embassy. Sadly, Ambassador and his Deputy defied everyone and they wanted to be the only to deal with the purchasing of the build. They claimed that they are the only trusted mandated by the President to handle it. If the Ambassador Philip and his Deputy Ambassador John Simon deny this report, let the government institute independent audit from Juba to verify how the money was spent and all the facts mentioned in this report. The report also recommended that the Office of President, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economic planning, Anti-corruption commission and National security should send a joint delegation to South Sudan Embassy in Pretoria to verify the facts mentioned in this report to avoid misuse of public fund by individual by using the name of the President. It is responsibility, duty and right of every citizen of South Sudan to expose those who engage in misusing the public funds.