The Johannesburg Special Commercial Crimes Court yesterday granted Hildegard Steenkamp‚ 43‚ accused of defrauding her former employer of R460-million in her 13 years at the company‚ bail of R250 000.
According to Hawks spokeswoman Captain Carol Mulamu‚ the state had originally not planned to oppose bail, but in court it emerged that Steenkamp had a recent history of suicide attempts.
“The state argued that she is potentially a danger to herself‚” Mulamu said.
The case has been postponed to February 28.
Steenkamp’s bail conditions include that she has to hand over her travel documents‚ must inform the investigating officer if she plans to leave Johannesburg and must report to the Boksburg police station three times a week.
The court has allowed Steenkamp and her husband to stay at their lavish Boksburg home‚ but the assets are under curatorship‚ which means they may not be moved‚ sold or donated.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation‚ the Hawks‚ swooped on her home early on Wednesday and seized jewellery and watches worth an estimated R12-million ‚ as well as luxury cars and motorcycles.
Mulamu said the woman had been employed as an accountant at multinational medical equipment supplier Medtronic in Midrand.
She was arrested and charged with fraud‚ theft and money-laundering.
Mulamu said the woman had allegedly duplicated payments to legitimate clients and service providers‚ paying money directly into her deceased husband’s bank account.
“The Hawks attached the suspect’s 11 luxurious vehicles . . . seven immovable properties with furniture and appliances‚ and jewellery worth over R12-million‚ which was emptied from five safes.”
Steenkamp’s husband died last year and she had remarried, the court heard.