Health tender scam suspect admits guiltBy: WERNER MENGES
TWO years of being free on bail came to an end for a construction firm owner from Windhoek this week, after he admitted that he defrauded the Ministry of Health and Social Services of more than N$1,4 million through a tender scam.
Khomasdal resident Johannes Polla Giola Jarson pleaded guilty on three counts of fraud in the Windhoek Regional Court on Monday. In a written plea explanation, he claimed that between October 2007 and June 2008 he and three officials in the Ministry of Health and Social Services conspired to defraud the ministry by pretending that his close corporation, Giola Building Construction, had been awarded tenders for construction work and that it had to be paid for that work.
Payments totalling about N$1,41 million were made to the close corporation as a result.
The three people implicated by Jarson in his plea explanation were his co-accused in the case until he pleaded guilty, with his trial then separated from theirs.
Jarson claimed he, Derick Jansen, who was a procurement clerk in the Ministry of Health, Nicolaas van Wyk, who was an accountant in the ministry, and Simon Iipinge, who was a clerk in the ministry, ďconspired or acted in concertĒ when the fraud was committed.
In the period from October to December 2007, Jarson stated, they defrauded the ministry by pretending that Giola Building Construction had been awarded a tender to do alterations and additions at Eenhana State Hospital, and that it had carried out the work. In fact, the close corporation never tendered to do that job and was not awarded such a tender.
The ministry paid a sum of N$460 553,47 to Giola Building Construction as a result of that fraud.
Jarson also admitted that in February and March 2008 he, Jansen, Van Wyk and Iipinge used the same method to defraud the ministry of N$480 653,41, by pretending that Giola Building Construction had won a tender to build a clinic and staff accommodation at Otjituuo and that it had done the required work on that project.
According to Jarsonís plea they committed fraud a third time in May and June 2008 by pretending that a tender to build a clinic, a mortuary and staff accommodation at Otjituuo had been awarded to Giola Building Construction, and that it had carried out that construction work.
The ministry was misled into paying N$471 984,60 to Giola Building Construction through those misrepresentations.
Jarson, Jansen, Van Wyk and Iipinge were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in early January 2011 on three main charges of corruptly using an office or position for gratification, alternatively fraud, and three other main charges of corruptly giving a false document to an agent, alternatively forgery and uttering.
Jarsonís case was postponed to April 17 on Wednesday, for the hearing of arguments before he is due to be sentenced by Magistrate Claudia Claasen.
Jarsonís bail was withdrawn and it was ordered that he should be kept in custody following his guilty plea. He had been free on bail of N$50 000.
Jarson is being represented by defence lawyer Jan Wessels. Phineas Nsundano is prosecuting.