Polokwane woman takes out loan to pay 'prophetess' and dating scammer

Renting a house in victim's name helps to nab suspects

14 December 2023 - 11:41 By TimesLIVE
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The "prophetess" was driving a BMW X6. File photo.
The "prophetess" was driving a BMW X6. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Dazzled by a new romance, luxury vehicles and the promise of piles of “cash”, a Limpopo woman has found herself indebted and out of love.

She is one of several victims in the province to fall for the combination of dating scammers and false prophets who can “bring riches”.

The Hawks have managed to trace the suspected dating scammer, aged 27, and his 32-year-old accomplice. They are expected to appear in the Polokwane magistrate’s court on Thursday.

Hawks provincial head Maj-Gen Gopz Govender said: “We are investigating a number of dating scam cases in the province where the victims lost their fortunes in the name of love. I am happy that today we managed to make a breakthrough by arresting the alleged scammers. I believe more arrests will be made in other cases that are still under investigation.”

Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Matimba Maluleke explained how the woman was tricked.

“During September this year, the victim randomly met the suspect in Polokwane who was driving a white Mercedes-Benz and they started dating,” said Maluleke.

“While enjoying the new love, the victim told the suspect about her personal problems and the suspect promised to hook her up with a spiritual healer (prophetess) who was going to cast away all her problems.

“The victim alleged she was introduced to the prophetess who told her she was going to assist in getting rid of the problems. According to the victim, they engaged in prayers with the suspect and the prophetess for about a week.

“In one of the prayer sessions, the prophetess arrived driving a BMW X6 carrying R4m 'cash' in a bag. The victim was told the money was hers from her ancestors but she had to pay 10% of the total amount to get it.

“As the victim did not have money, she rushed to the bank and applied for a loan of R650,000 and gave it to the prophetess.

“After a while, the victim tried to contact the suspect and the prophetess but they were not reachable.”

She then received a call from a property rental agent in Polokwane inquiring about the luxury house she had “rented” at Woodhill Estate in Polokwane.

“As she had never rented such a place, she discovered that her particulars were fraudulently used and she reported the matter to the Hawks.”

Investigators visited the address and found a Mercedes-Benz and BMW X6 parked in the garage. They were the same vehicles as those described by the victim and were seized.

On December 12, the male suspect was sighted in Potchefstroom, in the North West. He and his accomplice were arrested.


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