Holiday Scammer: Investigation Completed, Trial Now Ahead

Henry

The investigation of fraud against the travel agency boss Francois Swart has now been completed. A public prosecutor confirmed this in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court today.

Swart briefly appeared in court before the case was adjourned. Swart, managing director of Priority Escapes, allegedly swindled many would-be holidaymakers out of hundreds of thousands of rands.

AfriForum’s private prosecution unit represents two complainants who laid criminal charges against Swart at the Modimolle police station in August last year. The warrant for his arrest was issued in early December after the private prosecution unit intervened.

The case has been adjourned until March 22 so that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) can decide whether the case should be transferred to the regional court for trial. The trial date is also expected to be announced then.

Adv. Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, praised the Modimolle police and prosecutors for their work in this case. “We decided to keep this case local and report it to the local police – now we are already in court while the Hawks’ investigation is still dragging on. We are very pleased with the progress so far and are confident that the trial date will be set on March 22.”

The two complainants represented by the unit, Pamela Anne Dolan and Bug van Heerden, also attended the proceedings. Dolan says it was unreal to see Black in the dock. “I have never met him before and here is the person who took our money. It feels like a little bit of justice is being done now because I know that the case is going to trial now and he’s not going to get away with his tricks,” says Dolan.

She also thanked the private prosecution unit for their support. “At the beginning we didn’t have much hope for this case and then suddenly it progressed quickly. The continuous support and encouraging messages from the team really restored our hope.”