Maria Amakali WINDHOEK - Investigations into the case of a senior accountant officer from the Ministry of Finance, on allegations of corruption are yet to be completed. Llewellyn Bezuidenhout, 42, was arrested on May 13 following a sting operation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). According to the ACC press statement, Bezuidenhout used his position as senior accountant officer of the Ministry of Finance dealing with state operated and owned Medical Aid Fund, PSEMAS to convince the owner of a business to pay a gratification fee of N$50 000 in order to expedite medical claims of around N$ 1.35 million that was outstanding since 2016. Court documents indicate that Bezuidenhout used his position for his own personal benefit, when he requested N$50 000 from one Ciske Smith in order to process his claim. Through ACC investigations, Bezuidenhout allegedly informed the said businessman that such payment would be channeled to staff at Methealth to expedite the processing of claims of medical practitioners. According to the ACC, a Methealth staff member is being questioned and various searches are being conducted in relation to the case. Bezuidenhout is charged with a count of corruptly using his office or position for gratification, an offence which is in contravention of the ACC Act. The court released Bezuidenhout on bail of N$10 000 during his first appearance with stringent conditions attached. “The Commission has in the past received unconfirmed information that claims, and payments are allegedly deliberately being slowed down to create an environment where bribes could be requested to release payments. Investigation continues,” according to the statement. ACC is calling on all medical practitioners who suffered similar incidents to contact the Commission immediately. Bezuidenhout will return court on August 23, after Magistrate Justine Asino postponed the case for further police investigations.
2018-07-02 08:50:34 3 months ago