Buffalo Fraud - Court Decision

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Buffalo Fraud - Court Decision

Post by PennyinSA » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:53 am

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Re: Buffalo Fraud - Court Decision

Post by Lisbeth » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:05 pm

Local man pleads guilty to buffalo fraud


Schalk Abraham Steyn (45), known as AB, pleaded guilty to fraud regarding a buffalo sale and was sentenced in the Pretoria Criminal Court on July 27.

MBOMBELA – The court sentenced Steyn to pay R13 400 per month to the complainants for the next five years.

This is after Christopher John Herbst, his brother Ian Herbst and Paul Nel opened cases against Steyn regarding the matter.

According to court documents, the matter started on September 18, 2015. Christopher stated that he met Steyn through Nel.

Steyn told them he could obtain a fair-priced veterinarian to finalise a number of buffaloes as disease-free and was able to authorise them as fit to travel from Mpumalanga to a farm in Vaalwater, in Limpopo.

He told them that they would be sourced by a veterinarian from Hoedspruit who also works as a game capturer.

The court document stated that Steyn was a type of middleman. A 30 per cent deposit was required to secure 20 buffalo cows and one bull. He claimed they would be kept in Hoedspruit for quarantine until certified able to travel.

Nel and the Herbst brothers stated they had never spoken directly to the veterinarian during all the transactions, only through Steyn.

They received an invoice stating MC Coetzee trading as “Parawildelife”. The first amount of R480 000 was deposited into the account.

The document stated various amounts were paid by Nel and the Herbsts into that account. Altogether an amount of R1,2 million was paid for 20 buffalo cows and a further R350 000 was paid to secure the bull.

The report also stated that the buffaloes were supposed to be ready for travel between April and May 2016. The balance of the amount was supposed to be paid upon the loading of the animals when ready for travel.

When the complainants wanted to view the buffaloes with Steyn and the vet, the former allegedly started making excuses. On August 1, 2016, the three became suspicious and asked Steyn for their money back.

He requested them to give him until September 30 that year for him to pay them back.

No payment was made. The three men decided to collect the buffaloes. Steyn reportedly told Nel they were on a farm near Malalane. A friend of Steyn contacted Nel on October 25, 2016 to inform him that there were no animals. There were only four buffaloes that Steyn wanted to give them as a settlement.

It was confirmed that they were not his, plus they had tuberculosis and corridor illness.

The three then contacted the veterinarian directly. He had no knowledge of the sale and had not received any deposits.

The bank account on the invoices belonged to a partner and friend of Steyn. The money was transferred to a bank account of a CC company controlled by Steyn. He repaid Nel R300 000 on November 18, 2016, but failed to make more payments.
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