By Anna Shilongo
Thirty -year -old Maxwell Spanneberg, alleged to be the mastermind behind the N$344 000 defrauding of the Social Security Commission (SSC), pleaded not guilty in the Katutura Magistrates’ Court last week.
Spanneberg appeared before magistrate Helvi Shilamba and pleaded not guilty on two accounts of fraud and theft.
Magistrate Shilamba postponed Spanneberg’s case to November 28. He will appear together with his 63 co-accused for further investigation and pending the Prosecutor General’s decision.
His lawyer Jan Wessels appealed to the court for extension of his client’s bail of N$15 0000, which the magistrate granted.
The accused, who is charged with fraud and corruption, is a former SSC employee who worked in the Registry Division at the head office in Windhoek.
It is suspected that he used the computer passwords of other staff members to lodge, process and authorise fraudulent sick leave claims. the proceeds of which he allegedly pocketed.
Spanneberg was suspended from his post on August 30 last year when a full-scale investigation of his activities was ordered.
He was dismissed on November 2, after being found guilty of misconduct following a disciplinary hearing.
Following his dismissal, Spanneberg was later arrested in November after which he was granted bail of N$15 000, with a list of conditions attached.
Last year, Spanneberg was ordered to report to the police at Otjomuise twice each day – at 06h00 and again at 18h00.
He is not allowed to leave the district of Windhoek without the police’s permission, and he may not contact any of his co-accused, SSC employees or any person who might be a potential witness in his case.
He is also not allowed to enter any SSC premises, the magistrate ordered.
The magistrate also ordered that Spanneberg not leave the house where he stays in Otjomuise in Windhoek between 19h00 and 05h00.
Spanneberg was represented by Jan Wessels of Stern & Barnard Associates, while Witbooi represented the State.