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Lay litigant denied legal aid

2021-05-06  Roland Routh

Lay litigant denied legal aid
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Roland Routh

Lay litigant August Maletzky, who is accused of fraud, corruption and forgery, will either have to fork out for a private lawyer or handle his own defence. 

The 48-year-old Maletzky is also facing conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering charges together with his former employee Simon Afrikaner (42) and defence attorney Titus Mbaeva (62). The Directorate of Legal Aid in the Ministry of Justice informed Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that they are not in a position to provide a legal aid lawyer for Maletzky. 

Maletzky applied for a legal aid lawyer to represent him when his trial was transferred to the High Court, but has been kept hanging ever since by Legal Aid. The matter had to be postponed several times to afford the directorate an opportunity to make a decision on his application. The judge now postponed the matter to 30 November for Maletzky to sort out his legal woes before the trial starts in February next year. All charges emanate from the dubious sale of a house in Windhoek West worth N$2.5 million on 6 July 2017. The prosecution alleges Maletzky defrauded the couple by pretending that he wanted to lease the property in question. 

The prosecution further charged that Maletzky instead sold the house to a third party by means of false pretence and without the knowledge of Samuel Visconde Dias, the actual owner of the house. He was allegedly fully aware that he was not the lawful owner of the house, and had no right to sell it. 

Court documents indicate Maletzky used a fraudulent power of attorney in which the property owners supposedly authorised him to sell the house. It is alleged that the power of attorney was prepared by Mbaeva and Afrikaner, according to court documents. Thus, the three are accused of conspiring to commit the offence. 

With regards to the charge of fraud, it is alleged by the state that the accused in concert and with common purpose wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud misrepresented to the Registrar of Deeds and Masiza Law Chambers that Dias and his wife Isobel nominated, constituted and appointed Maletzky with power of substitution to be their lawful agent/representative in their name and stead to sell, sign all transfer documents, and give effect to the transfer of Erf 3733 at the price of N$2.5 million. Furthermore, that the special power of attorney notarised by Mbaeva is authentic and duly signed by Dias. With regards to the count of corruption, it is charged they corruptly and with common purpose gave to an agent, to wit Masiza Law Chambers, a special power of attorney dated 6 July 2017 while knowing it is false and contained defective material. The charge of forgery is in relation to Maletzky only, and charges that he forged the signatures of Dias and his wife. 

With regards to the charge of conspiring to commit corruption, it is alleged that the accused in concert and with common purpose conspired to commit fraud. With regards to the charge of money laundering, it is alleged that they are guilty in that they between 6 July and December 2017 acted in concert and with common purpose to wrongfully, unlawfully and knowingly acquire property which they knew or ought reasonably to have known that it forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activities. Mbaeva will be represented by Kalundu Kamwi and Afrikaner by Trevor Brockerhoff.

The state will be represented by Dominic Lisulo.

Awaiting trial… Simon Afrikaner, Titus Mbaeva and August Maletzky.

Photo: File

2021-05-06  Roland Routh

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