Businessman accused of R4.5m fraud and theft out on R5,000 bail

20 August 2020 - 13:47 By Shonisani Tshikalange
Funds were allegedly transferred unlawfully from the account of a company involved in the construction of low-cost houses into a family trust account. Stock photo.
Funds were allegedly transferred unlawfully from the account of a company involved in the construction of low-cost houses into a family trust account. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Taweesin Rittisarn

A Jeffery’s Bay businessman accused of fraud and theft involving R4.5m has been released on R5,000 bail by the Port Elizabeth specialised commercial crimes court.

Stephanus De Wet de Lange is a co-director of Cinzaco 180 (Pty) Ltd, a company that was involved in the construction of low-cost homes.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said he is also a trustee of the SDW De Lange Family Trust.

“It is alleged that between March 7 2014 and December 20 2017 De Lange unlawfully transferred a total of R3,277,000 from the Cinzaco bank account to his family's trust account. He allegedly did so under the pretence that the money would pay the creditors and employees of Cinzaco,” Ngcakani said in a statement.

“It is further alleged that on December 20 2017, De Lange unlawfully and without authority transferred an amount of R870,000 from the bank account of Cinzaco to the bank account of his family trust.

“Further, it is alleged that in April 2018 he stole an amount of R423,000 from the bank account of Cinzaco by transferring it to the De Lange family trust account.”

He is facing charges of fraud and two counts of theft.

State prosecutor advocate Tjaart Van Zyl did not oppose bail on Wednesday as “the accused gave his full co-operation during the investigation stage and handed himself over to the Hawks when he was requested to do so”.

De Lange will appear in court again on September 7.

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