Fraud case involving 15 health officials at Otjiwarongo provisionally withdrawn

09 May 2019 12:20pm
OTJIWARONGO, 09 MAY (NAMPA) – The case of 15 health officials linked to fraud involving N.dollars 8.2 million in 2016 at the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Otjozondjupa Region, was last week Friday provisionally withdrawn pending police investigations.
The 15 accused are Lucresia Matsuis, Namboa Jenneveva, Dr Esther Namwandi, Andrew Neidel, Frieda Fillemon, Engine Sawas, Josephine Lifumbela who is now deceased, Berreldine Narib, Christine Ndeutapo, Laurentia Narubes, Temos Mutewa, Sana Dauses, Magdalena Horases, Victoria Hases and Selma Hindulua.
The accused who were out on bail of N.dollars 10 000 and N.dollars 40 000 were nurses, cleaners, ambulance drivers, accountants and State dentists at the time of their arrests in 2016.
Then aged between 41 and 59 years, they were arrested after the Namibian Police’s serious crime unit conducted investigations into a fraud case opened in May 2014 by the office of the Otjozondjupa health director.
The accused appeared in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court and 13 of them engaged privately-hired lawyers, while two applied for State-funded representation through the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Directorate.
On 03 May 2019, their case was brought back to court on a third and last remand regarding further police investigations, but then prosecutor Coleen Yisa told the court that police investigations in the matter were still not done.
Magistrate Eduard Kesslau provisionally allowed the withdrawal of the case on grounds the police should complete its investigations first and later bring the case back to court for continuation.
The accused were also allowed to claim back their bail money.
Spokesperson of the Namibian Police Force in the Otjozondjupa Region, Inspector Maureen Mbeha on Thursday responded to Nampa that the case is complicated, and the police would therefore need ample time to complete its investigations.