03 Feb 2015 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 03 FEB (NAMPA) - Three people accused of defrauding 126 pensioners through a pyramid scheme between 2004 and 2006 at Oranjemund, have all denied the charges against them.
According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge-sheet, Charles van Rensburg, 42; Jeremiah van Niekerk, 46; and his 43-year-old wife Melanie van Niekerk are facing a total of 256 counts of fraud and theft.
They allegedly defrauded and stole an amount of N.dollars 11 458 372-24 from 126 investors of their cash loan business called West Coast Financial Aid CC (close corporation) at that diamond-mining town in the //Karas Region.
The three denied all the allegations levelled against them by the State at the start of their trial, which kicked off before Windhoek High Court judge Alfred Siboleka here on Tuesday morning.
The trio had also each submitted a plea of not guilty in terms of Section 115 of the Namibian Criminal Procedures Act.
All 126 people who had invested money with West Coast Financial Aid CC between 2004 and 2006 are lined up to testify in the trial as State witnesses.
The majority of the investors are pensioners, who wanted to grow their pension money.
It is alleged that the largest amount by an investor was N.dollars 400 000. Some investors made payments more than once to the company.
The money, however, was allegedly never used for the benefit of the customers of the cash loan business, but only for the personal gain of the three accused persons.
Windhoek-based lawyers Kobus van Vuuren and Christie Mostert are defending the three accused persons, acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
State Advocate Ingrid Husselmann is appearing for the prosecution.