Toivo Ndjebela/Maria Amakali
Windhoek-Prominent local lawyer Titus Mbaeva this week found himself in police custody alongside two other people following their arrest on Tuesday on charges involving the alleged fraudulent N$2.5 million sale of a house that did not belong to them and pocketing the proceeds.
Mbaeva is accused of having conspired with well-known paralegal August Maletzky and Simon Edward Afrikaner in defrauding an elderly Angolan couple by allegedly forging power of attorney documentation. The forged documents allegedly gave them the right to dispose of the couple’s home in Windhoek West.
Making their first appearance in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Lüderitz Street yesterday, the trio was granted bail.
Mbaeva got N$40,000 bail while Maletzky got N$100,000 with Afrikaner granted bail of N$20,000.
It is alleged that the three men fraudulently sold the house that is worth N$2.5 million without the couple’s knowledge or permission to do so. It is also alleged that after selling the house they failed to hand over the funds to the homeowners. It is further alleged that Maletzky was living in the aforesaid house on a lease agreement before it was illegally sold off. The prosecution is now charging the trio, respectively, with a count of corruptly using a false document by an agent and attempting or conspiring to commit an offense. Maletzky stands alone on a third charge of fraud.
Mbaeva and his co-accused were arrested on Tuesday following an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation into the said illegal sale. Speaking to New Era, the ACC Chief Investigative Officer, Nelius Becker, said the likelihood of more arrests being made in connection with the case is very high. The trio’s defense attorneys, Advocate Slyskea Makando and Advocate Obrien Sibeya questioned the ACC’s powers to arrest Mbaeva and his co-accused.
The lawyers argued that the arrest of Mbaeva and his co-accused by the ACC was illegal. “When the ACC has exercised its powers outside the Act, that exercise will become an illegal act and, therefore, the arrest of the accused and bringing them to court today is an illegal act,” stated Makando.
Sibeya supported the notion stating that Mbaeva is very eager to stand in court and challenge the jurisdiction of the ACC to arrest him. As a condition of their release, Mbaeva and his co-accused were warned not to interfere with the ongoing investigations and state witnesses, and not to leave the country or the district of Windhoek without the investigation officer’s permission. Furthermore, the accused should surrender all their travelling documents and may not apply for new ones while their case is pending.
The court postponed the matter for further police investigations to May 18.
Magistrate Venatius Alweendo heard the matter with Raisa Shafuda prosecuting for the state.