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Termination of transcription service halts fraud case

2018-11-06  Maria Amakali

Termination of transcription service halts fraud case
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WINDHOEK - The termination of contract by a transcribing company has caused a delay in the fraud case of a senior accountant of the Ministry of Finance, in connection with dubious medical aid claims.

During an appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, Llewellyn Bezuidenhout, 42, was informed the transcription of audio tapes has not been completed. 

According to Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Willem Olivier, the transcription to be done is of a recorded conversation between the complainant and Bezuidenhout.  “These are recordings between the complainant and the accused when the transaction took place. There are also recordings at the time when the payment was taking place between the accused and the complainant,” explained Olivier.

Bezuidenhout was arrested on May 13 following an investigation by the ACC and was later released on N$10 000 bail. 
According to court documents, Bezuidenhout used his position as a senior accounting officer of the Ministry of Finance dealing with state-operated and state-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 were outstanding since 2016.

Court documents further 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. Bezuidenhout allegedly informed Smith that such payment would be channeled to staff at Methealth to expedite the processing of claims of medical practitioners.

During court proceedings Bezuidenhout’s defence attorney Appolos Shimakeleni wanted the case struck from the court roll, saying the state had six months to obtain transcription but failed to do so. However, Magistrate Celma Amadhila refused the request, noting that the matter was out of the investigating officer’s hands and a remand will be appropriate. 
The court postponed the matter to February 28, 2019 for further investigations. 

2018-11-06  Maria Amakali

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