Namibia: Lay Litigant, Co-Accused Appear in Court for Fraud

17 September 2020

Lay litigant August Maletzky, Simon Afrikaner and lawyer Titus Mbaeva made a first pre-trial appearance in the Windhoek High Court yesterday before Judge Christie Liebenberg on charges of fraud, corruption, forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud and corruption and money laundering.

Afrikaner is a former employee of African Labour and Human Right Centre.

Their matter was postponed to 15 October for another re-trial hearing when they are expected to submit their replies to the State's pre-trial memoranda. 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 the 48-year-old Maletzky defrauded the couple by pretending that he wanted to lease the property in question. The prosecution further notes 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 that 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 (62) and Afrikaner (42), according to court documents. Thus, the three conspired 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 the power of substitution to be their lawful agent or 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, 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 that they corruptly and with common purpose gave to an agent with 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 Maletzky 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 common purpose conspired to commit fraud.

About 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 wrongfully, unlawfully and knowingly acquired property, which they knew or ought reasonably to have known that it forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activities. Maletzky is currently without a lawyer, while Mbaeva will be represented by Kalundu Kamwi and Afrikaner by Trevor Brockerhoff. The State is represented by Dominic Lisulo.

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