An unnamed illness suffered by lawyer Hipura Ujaha has further delayed the start of the trial of 45-year-old estate administrator Mervin Kozonguizi in the Windhoek High Court.
Windhoek High Court judge Herman January was informed yesterday that Ujaha was booked off by his doctor until today and must attend to a follow-up tomorrow.
The trial of Kozonguizi, who is accused along with his close corporation, Kozonguizi and Associates CC, of two charges of corruptly using an office or position for gratification, two counts of fraud, alternatively theft, and 16 charges of money laundering has suffered several delays since its supposed start in 2018.
Judge January then postponed the matter to next Monday because, as he said, it was beyond his control. Previously, Judge Kobus Miller, who had the matter before Judge January, warned Ujaha that he will not tolerate any more delays.
Kozonguizi is to answer to charges of allegedly siphoning millions of dollars from two deceased’s estates.
In the indictment, the State alleges during the period from 19 September 2014 to August 2015, Kozonguizi stole N$6.4 million from the estate of the late Gustav Kandjambi Tjiuiju that he was administering.
It also claims that between 3 December 2015 and June 2016, Kozonguizi stole N$1 million from the estate of the late Dorothia Yolandi Beukes.
According to the indictment, Kozonguizi first bought a Ford Ranger pick-up for N$454 000 at the end of September 2015 – eleven days after the N$7.9 million raised from the sale of a farm owned by the late Tjiuiju had been paid into the personal bank account of Kozonguizi and a plot of land at Omeya south of Windhoek, for which he paid N$620 000 – about two and a half weeks after the money from the farm sale had landed in his account.
It is further alleged that in February 2015, Kozonguizi again dipped into the money allegedly stolen from Tjiuiju’s estate to buy land at Okahandja for N$2.1 million.
The State is also charging that on 4 December 2015, a day after he received N$1 million that was supposed to be distributed to the heirs of the late Beukes, Kozonguizi allegedly used N$420 000 of that money to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.
He also faces 16 charges of money laundering based on allegations that he used the money stolen from the two estates to make payments to other people and buy cars and properties for himself.