WINDHOEK – The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court has provisionally withdrawn a case against two people who stand accused of committing medical aid fraud to the tune of N$130 000.
The accused, Jacque Etienne Coetzee, 44, chief accountant at the Ministry of Finance, and an employee at a local company Rosa Sindy Beukes, 31, had their case temporarily withdrawn after Magistrate Justine Asino refused to give another remand for the prosecutor general’s decision.
According to the court, it is not clear how much time is needed for investigations to be finalised and the reasons why investigations are not complete during the given period.
The case was on the court roll for the prosecutor general’s decision, a final remand. However, such decision was not available.
According to the state prosecutor Precious Matali, the prosecutor general has given the investigating officer additional instructions to comply with before pronouncing herself in the matter.
With the case provisionally withdrawn, the court refunded bail money to the depositors. Coetzee and his co-accused were on N$10 000 bail respectively.
During previous court proceedings, the investigating officer informed the state there was the possibility that more charges would be added to Coetzee and Beukes’ already existing charges upon completion of investigations.
According to the investigating officer, more complaints against the accused have come up.
Coetzee and Beukes were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on September 25, 2018, on charges of utilising documents that contain falsifications to mislead and corruptly using public office or position for gratification.
The prosecution is alleging that Coetzee gave Beukes a Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) card and registered her on the Psemas system as a government employee, fully aware that she was not an employee of the government.
With the Psemas medical aid card Beukes visited various hospitals, doctors and pharmacies between 2015 and 2017. Beukes fraudulently accrued medical benefits totalling N$138 000 during the period in question. The accused will be summoned once investigations are complete, according to the court.