Mega fraud referred to pre-trial

October 21, 2014, 9:17am

Mega fraud referred to pre-trial

With the two brothers implicated in the mega fraud trial involving South African giant cement manufacturer, AfriSam, unable to secure legal representation, the trial has been resubmitted to the pre-trial roster.

Calvin, 51, and Gerald Bezuidenhout, 42, informed Judge Christi Liebenberg that they were told by the Directorate of Legal Aid in the Ministry of Justice that they earn too much to qualify for legal aid.

They now applied for the matter to be postponed to enable them to raise enough funds for their legal fees.

Judge Liebenberg lamented the fact that the high-profile case was failing to get out of the starting blocks because of things that were supposed to have been sorted out at the pre-trial stages.

The judge was of the opinion that the earliest dates now available would only be in the third quarter of next year and ordered that the matter be referred back to pre-trial for allocation of new trial dates and possibly a new judge.

The trial was already supposed to start on September 16 before Judge Liebenberg, but had to be postponed when it emerged the two brothers were without legal representation after their lawyer Mel Harmse withdrew because of financial issues. The Judge then ordered the brothers to apply for legal aid, but it now seems that they earn too much to qualify for legal aid and too little to afford a private lawyer.

The brothers are accused together with Esmerelda Majiedt, the main accused, Rundu-based businessman Daniel Baptista De Jesus, Majiedt’s sister Louise Izaaks and Izaaks’ ex-boyfriend James Wilson of defrauding AfriSam to the tune of N$77 million.

They face charges ranging from fraud and contravening the Anti- Corruption Act, as well as the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

It is alleged in the indictment that Majiedt defrauded the cement giant of N$77 million with the help of her co-accused between January 2006 and January 2011.

Majiedt is represented by Bradley Basson, De Jesus by senior counsel Gerson Hinda on instructions from Murorua and Associates, and Izaaks and Wilson by James Diedericks

Courtesy New Era