Trial date set for Die Son staffer in drag queen fraud case
A fraud case against Die Son sub-editor Janice Ohlson was postponed in the Cape Town Regional Court on Thursday for trial to begin in April.
Ohlson and car hire company employee Munier Abrahams are accused of creating false work schedules for convicted fraudster Sylvano Hendricks to allow him "free access to commit crimes". They face 140 counts.
Hendricks, who also goes by the moniker Queenie Madikizela-Malema, an identity he assumed as a drag queen, was allegedly allowed free access to roam the Western Cape due to the liberal work schedule provided to correctional services parole officers by Ohlson and Abrahams.
This was done under the pretence that Hendricks worked for Die Son as a journalist.
It is understood Hendricks was never employed by Media24, which publishes Die Son, and that Ohlson allegedly acted in her own capacity to provide the false information.
Die Son editor Andrew Koopman resigned in 2018 shortly after Ohlson was arrested in the Media24 offices in Cape Town.
After Thursday's proceedings, Ohlson rushed out of court with a man who appeared to be her bodyguard.
Abrahams, who seemed much less perturbed by the proceedings, was followed out by his lawyer, advocate Adrian Samuels.
Hendricks was released on parole in 2012. A picture on Ohlson's Facebook page shows the two together under the title "Soljol by Nekkies in Worcester, 31/12/2012".
Ohlson allegedly started creating false work schedules for Hendricks the following month.
In contravention of his parole conditions, in 2014 Hendricks also took part in an ANC roadshow in Mitchell’s Plain where he canvassed support for the party ahead of the national elections.
Sources suggest Hendricks was at the time part of a contingent of local entertainers who were brought in as part of a campaign by then provincial ANC chairman Marius Fransman.
Fransman was contacted by TimesLIVE and said he preferred not to comment.
After Hendricks was re-arrested in December 2016, he served his remaining sentence and has since been released.
The case was postponed until April 8 and both suspects are out on bail.