CORRECTION: We erroneously said Heinz Dresselhaus was ordered to pay a fine of N.dollars 200 000. In fact, it was his company, Dresselhaus Scrap CC (close corporation), which was slapped with the fine, and not Dresselhaus in his personal capacity.

The correct version of the story follows:

WINDHOEK: A close corporation (CC) belonging to local businessman Heinz Dresselhaus was on Tuesday ordered to pay a fine of N.dollars 200 000.

The Dresselhaus Scrap CC (close corporation) was ordered to pay the above-mentioned fine after the owner of the CC, Heinz Dresselhaus, had pleaded guilty to 19 charges of fraud in connection with the corrupt and fraudulent sale of scrap copper materials belonging to Telecom Namibia.

Heinz Drtesselhaus pleaded guilty to the charges and fined on behalf of his CC, and in the process was found as a representative of the CC.

High Court Judge Collins Parker handed down the punishment on Tuesday.

The Dresselhaus Scrap CC was ordered to pay the fine in full through the Registrar of the Windhoek High Court before or on 30 June this year at 16h00.

This decision was taken as per an agreement reached by defence lawyer, Senior Counsel Willie Vermeulen who represented the CC and State representative, Chief Prosecutor Danie Small in court on Tuesday.

Earlier reports by local English daily The Namibian had it that the other member of the close corporation, Ettienne Weakley and former Telecom Namibia Manager James Camm, who faced similar charges were found not guilty on all counts after the State closed its case against the three.

At the time, Small had conceded that the charges against Weakley and Camm had not been proven beyond reasonable doubts.

Charges were then withdrawn against Camm and Weakley.

Initially, the three men were charged in their personal capacities when they pleaded not guilty to 30 charges of fraud at the start of the trial in 2008.

However, with the resumption of the trial earlier this month, Small amended the indictment against the three men to only have Heinz Dresselhaus and Weakley charged in their capacities as representatives of Dresselhaus Scrap CC (close corporation) as well.

This development then forced Dresselhaus to offer a guilty plea on behalf of the close corporation.

According to the newspaper reports, the charges were based on allegations that Dresselhaus Scrap CC paid bribes and kick-backs to Camm and a former procurement Manager of Telecom Namibia, Ivan Ganes, and defrauded Telecom Namibia of close to N.dollars 1,2 million between late 1998 and early 2001.

At the time, the Dresselhaus Scrap CC had an exclusive contract to buy scrap copper materials from the telecommunications parastatal.

Ganes was sentenced to an effective two-year-prison term and a fine of N.dollars 100 000 in June 2005, after he had pleaded guilty to 13 counts of fraud in connection with the scrap copper transactions between Telecom Namibia and Dresselhaus Scrap CC.

Ganes had served his full sentence and later returned to the Windhoek High Court to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Dresselhaus, the CC, Weakley and Camm.

Telecom Namibia had also sued Dresselhaus Scrap CC for more than N.dollars 9 million in a civil case which was settled when the CC agreed to pay the parastatal N.dollars 2,4 million.

Dresselhaus Scrap CC was reportedly a successful business, but it was ruined by the scrap copper sale scam.

SOURCE: NAMPA