Lawyer Withdraws From Afrisam Trial

The lawyer of the two Bezuidenhout brothers in the AfriSam corruption trail withdrew yesterday citing a lack of funds on his clients’ part.

Mel Harmse informed Judge Christi Liebenberg that his clients, 50-year-old Calvin and 41-year-old Gerald Bezuidenhout could no longer afford his legal services and needed to apply for legal aid.

In terms of the Legal Aid Act, the government funded directorate may make funds available to pay for legal services, but may require an accused person who can afford it to contribute to the fees.

Judge Liebenberg was informed the brothers applied, but were informed the fund cannot assist them because their income exceeded the threshold of N$2 000 per month.

Judge Liebenberg postponed the matter to Friday and ordered a representative of the directorate of legal aid must be in court to explain themselves. He also ordered the registrar must make the arrangements through his office. The brothers together with Esmerelda Majiedt,who is the main accused in the multi-million fraud trial and Rundu-based businessman, Daniel Baptista De Jesus, Majiedt’s sister, Louise Izaaks and Izaaks’ ex-boyfriend, James Wilson face charges ranging from fraud and contravening the Anti- Corruption Act, as well as the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

According to the charge sheet Majiedt who is the ex-wife of renowned former Brave Warriors player, Donkey Majiedt, defrauded the cement giant with N$77-million. Majiedt alone faces a record 630 charges while De Jesus and the Bezuidenhout brothers also faces a record of 628 charges and Izaaks and Wilson two charges each. It is alleged Majiedt was employed at AfriSam Cement Namibia as a Customer Fulfilment Leader, used her position to deliver vast amounts of cement to the De Jesus and the Bezuidenhout brothers and used the payments received for her personal use. With regard to Izaaks and Wilson, it is alleged she used them to register a dummy corporation in which they held equal shares and used that company, Lu Properties cc, to trade the cement she allegedly stole and banked the monies received in its account. Majiedt allegedly made fake transfer orders of stock between Namibian depots of the cement company in order to create credits in the freight clearing general ledger of AfriSam, the charge sheet states.

This stock was only transferred on the computer system without physically leaving the premises and would thus result in a misrepresentation of the transport costs and the Freight Clearing account, it is further stated. This account will then carry excess provision for payment of transporters and after the genuine transporters were paid, the excess funds would then be transferred to the cash accounts of Discount Hardware (De Jesus) and Cool Properties (Bezuidenhout).

This would then entitle them to the delivery of cement without paying AfriSam a cent, the indictment read. Another system they used, the indictment says, is that Majiedt would make use of the bank account in AfriSam’s ledger to transfer credits to the cash accounts of Discount Hardware and Cool Properties misleading AfriSam that they have indeed made bank deposits thereby causing the company to release the cement. The fake deposits will then be reversed once the cement is delivered and credits from the Freight Clearing Account will then be used to settle balances due.

It is further alleged Majiedt would transfer funds from genuine customers to the cash accounts of her co-accused in order to release the stock by printing a delivery note and once the stock is released, reverse these transactions and settle the balance due against the excess in the Freight Clearing Account. Majiedt would also issue manual delivery notes in order to bypass the system, according to the charge sheet, which allowed her to release stock.

These deliveries would only be captured into the system once fraudulent credits were passed and that she would use the closed corporation belonging to Izaaks and Wilson to trade.

Discount Hardware allegedly illegally received cement worth N$42 million from AfriSam, while Cool Properties allegedly benefited from cement deliveries worth N$16 million. Majiedt is represented by Bradley Basson, De Jesus by Senior Counsel, Gerson Hinda assisted by Aocate Gerson Narib on instructions of Murorua and Associate and James Diedericks appears for Izaaks and Wilson.

Source : New Era