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Wealthy farmer with 'passion to help the poor' faces string of sex charges

27 August 2017 - 14:40 By Aaron Hyman
A wealthy George farmer charged with sex offences said he spent millions on the needy after being inundated with messages asking for assistance. File photo.
A wealthy George farmer charged with sex offences said he spent millions on the needy after being inundated with messages asking for assistance. File photo.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

A wealthy George farmer charged with sex offences claims poor girls sent him raunchy images to get his attention.

The man‚ who cannot be named‚ said he spent millions on the needy after being inundated with messages asking for assistance.

The 67-year-old and a 37-year-old will apply for bail on Monday in George Magistrate’s Court. They are charged with offences relating to sexual trafficking‚ sexual exploitation and child pornography. The younger man is also charged with raping a 15-year-old girl.

Police say the two men worked together to sexually exploit at least 10 girls in exchange for money.

In an affidavit‚ the farmer says his land near George on the Garden Route is worth more than R100-million. He is also a collector of antique goods “with value beyond any ability to appraise” and owns another farm worth R25-million.

He was arrested in June after a 15-year-old from the impoverished Blanco community‚ near the lavish Fancourt golf estate in George‚ reported the rape.

The child‚ who lives with her grandmother‚ said the 37-year-old introduced her to the farmer‚ who promised to help her financially. The meeting allegedly took place in his vehicle and she said she fled after he groped her breasts.

Police allege the younger man convinced the girl to send naked photographs of herself to the farmer in exchange for money. He allegedly also told her that she could earn up to R50‚000 for having sex with the farmer.

After she allegedly sent the pictures‚ the 37-year-old coerced her into making a pornographic video of herself before raping her. He allegedly said no one would believe he had raped her because of the video.

The farmer denies the allegations‚ claiming in court papers he receives up to 300 messages a day from people who need money for food‚ airtime and electricity.

“I always had a passion to help the poor. I cannot stand seeing anyone in need. I consider myself to be a philanthropist‚” he says‚ estimating that he has given the poor R2-million.

According to an affidavit by a community member‚ in support of the farmer‚ “if there were 6‚000 people living in Blanco‚ he probably helped 3‚000 of them”.

The farmer admits receiving “raunchy photos” from people wanting to attract his attention. Every time his phone’s memory fills up he buys another‚ he says. Police confiscated more than 10 phones. His lawyer‚ Daan Dercksen‚ told TimesLIVE his client is “technologically disabled”.

The farmer claims the 15-year-old wanted to “start a friendship” with him. “She indicated that she wants a settled man in her life that can financially assist her. I replied by advising her that I know nothing of her and I invited her to send me a photograph and tell me more about herself‚” he said.

They met on June 22 in his car and the child said she needed R3‚800 for “personal supplies”. He claims he gave her R200-R300 and promised to deposit the rest the following day.

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