Ghost teachers' alleged fraud case postponed to November 2013

16 Aug 2013 12:02
WINDHOEK, 16 AUG (NAMPA) - The case of 12 people arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with an alleged 'ghost teacher' scam at the Ministry of Education in 2011 has been postponed to November this year.
The group made another appearance before Windhoek Magistrate Justice Asino in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court along Lüderitz Street on Friday morning, when their alleged fraud and corruption case was remanded until 11 November this year in order to allow some of the accused persons to get responses from the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid in connection with their applications for legal representation.
The 12 accused persons who appeared before court on Friday are key suspect Akunangondo Nauyala, 30; Laurentius Dino van Wyk, 38; Anne-Marie Alexandra van Wyk, 32; Rebekka Petrina Uris, 47; Valery Waldro Nanghula, 44; Rachel Joey Jansen, 38; Ester Omagano Ambondo, 30; Doreen Elder Upingisana, 43; Mengistu Nghaamwa, 32; Festus Ladjovale Haitula, 47; Aurelia Beukes, 44 and the 35-year-old Jona Etuna Nekwaya.
They face multiple charges of corruption and fraud.
According to earlier media reports, the accused were granted bail in amounts varying from N.dollars 8 000 to N.dollars 40 000.
Accused Laurentius van Wyk and an official in the Ministry of Education were first arrested and charged at the end of November 2011.
By mid-December 2011, a second accused (Nauyala) was arrested and charged.
He was at a later stage released on bail of N.dollars 15 000.
The group stands accused of being involved in a scam in which the Education Ministry was allegedly defrauded when the names of people not employed with the ministry were registered on its payroll.
These alleged 'ghost teachers' were then paid monthly salaries, which found their way into the pockets of those individuals who were allegedly involved in the scheme.
According to the charge sheet in their case, Laurentius van Wyk faces 37 charges - including seven charges in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act - and 30 counts of fraud.
Nauyala has been charged with one count of corruptly using his office or position for gratification, and 17 counts of fraud.
It is alleged that he received a salary as a 'ghost teacher', with N.dollars 347 826 allegedly paid out to him.
Ministry of Education official Anne-Marie Alexandra van Wyk is charged with 15 counts of fraud and one count of corruptly using her office or position for gratification, while Uris is charged with three counts of corruptly using his office or position for gratification and 15 counts of fraud.
Nanghula faces 12 charges of fraud and two counts of corruptly using her office or position for gratification.
These three accused persons were each granted bail of N.dollars 40 000.
Accused Mengistu Nghaamwa is alleged to have fraudulent received salary payments totalling N.dollars 181 049 from the Education Ministry.
Nghaamwa was also granted bail of N.dollars 40 000.
Haitula is charged with one count of corruptly using his office or position for gratification.
He was granted bail of N.dollars 15 000.
Accused Jansen, Ambondo, Upingisana, Beukes and Nekwaya are all charged with one count of fraud.
They were also all granted bail of N.dollars 8 000 each.
Local defence lawyers Jan Wessels, Milton Engelbecht, Loide Shikale and Henrico von Wielligh are representing 11 of the accused persons.
The bail of the 12 accused was also this morning extended until their next court appearance on 11 November.