Cement Fraud Accused Get New Trial Dates

ANOTHER attempt to start the trial of six people accused of defrauding cement company AfriSam Namibia to the amount of N$77 million is due to be made in the Windhoek High Court at the end of June.

The dates reserved for their trial were confirmed when the six accused made their latest pre-trial court appearance before Judge Christie Liebenberg on Thursday.

Former AfriSam Namibia employee Esmerelda Martina Majiedt (49), Rundu-based businessman Daniel Baptista de Jesus, building contractor brothers Calvin and Gerald Bezuidenhout, Majiedt’s sister Louise Izaaks, and James Wilson are due to go on trial before Judge Liebenberg on 29 June. Dates up to 8 July and from 1 September to 18 September have been reserved for their trial.

The six accused were supposed to go on trial in mid-September last year, but that did not happen as planned when the Bezuidenhout brothers asked to be given more time to arrange their legal representation.

Defence lawyer James Diedericks, who is representing Izaaks and Wilson, has in the meantime received instructions to represent the Bezuidenhouts as well.

The six accused are due to stand trial on an indictment containing 628 charges flowing from allegations that Majiedt defrauded AfriSam Namibia of N$77 million during the period from January 2006 to the end of January 2011.

Majiedt allegedly committed the offences by providing cement to customers of AfriSam Namibia and then receiving payment for the cement in her personal capacity, without the payments being channelled to the company.

The prosecution is alleging that she sold cement valued at N$37,8 million to De Jesus, and also sold cement worth N$15,1 million to the Bezuidenhouts.

It is also alleged that Majiedt used a close corporation of Izaaks and Wilson as a trading vehicle through which she sold cement stolen from AfriSam, and that she, her sister and Wilson committed money laundering when she used a bank account of the close corporation and a personal bank account of Izaaks to receive money paid to her for the stolen cement.

Majiedt, who is being represented by defence lawyer Bradley Basson, is facing 628 charges, consisting of 624 counts of fraud, alternatively theft, three counts of money laundering under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, and one charge of bribery in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act. In the alternative charges of theft it is alleged that she stole cement worth N$77 million from AfriSam Namibia.

De Jesus, who is represented by defence lawyer Gilroy Kasper, is charged with 165 counts of fraud, alternatively theft, two counts of bribery, and one charge of money laundering.

The Bezuidenhouts face 234 charges of fraud, alternatively theft, two counts of bribery, and one charge of money laundering.

Izaaks faces one charge of fraud and two counts of money laundering. Wilson is charged with one count of fraud and one count of money laundering. All of the accused are out of custody on bail.

Source : The Namibian