Agent in court for duping the elderly

By Maria Kandjungu

A Nampost contractual agent, recently appeared in the Tsumeb magistrates’ court on charges of theft and fraud for allegedly scamming over N$6 000 from two pensioners and a woman living with disability.

Luck ran out on Ndapewa Hertse about a month ago when she allegedly defrauded the three Nampost clients on different occasions using the same trick, of which two of the victims happen to be mother and daughter.

It is alleged that in the first incident, the consultant was approached by Christofin Goahas a Tsumeb resident and pensioner who wanted to take out a loan with the post office. She was told by Hertse that she only qualified for N$8 000.

However, days later to the pensioner’s surprise, she received a call from the agent telling her that her account has been credited in error with N$10 000 instead of the N$8 000 -due to a problem with the system- and that she had to withdraw the money and return N$2 000 in cash to Hertse, which she allegedly did.

Yet, upon starting to do her loan repayments, the pensioner was told that her loan was in fact N$10 000 and that there was no proof that she had returned the N$2 000 back to the agent who denied receiving money or making such a call.

Subsequently Goahas’ daughter, Magdaleen Goahas also went to the same Nampost to take a loan and she was told by Hertse that she qualified for a N$10 000 loan. Days later, an amount of N$12 000 was paid into her account upon which, like her mother, she received a call from the agent to return ‘N$2 000 that was additionally paid by mistake’.

She too returned the money to the agent but later with the help of the family, started questioning the operations of the agent. She reportedly went back to the Nampost to inquire about the balance of her loan which was found to be N$12 000 excluding interest charges.

Upon inquiring from other residents, it was allegedly found that the said agent also schemed another resident out of her money in a similar fashion. In this instance the agent allegedly told the client another elderly woman, that she was only eligible for an N$8 000 loan, though when the client went to withdraw her money, the grandmother only received N$6 000 and was advised by the ‘thieving’ agent that she had reached her daily withdrawal limit.

The woman however never received the rest of the money and later found that the loan approved and credited to her account was in fact N$14 500.

Consequently, two cases of theft and fraud were opened against Hertse at Tsumeb police station and after weeks of investigation she was arrested. She is currently on N$ 1 500 bail as further investigations are still ongoing.