FREE STATE – The accused, Prinsloo Phillippus Pretorius (50) and his company Eco Grain CC appeared before the Bloemfontein High Court on Friday, 15 July 2022 where he was convicted for fraud and contravention of the close corporation act 69 of 1984.
His conviction originates from the incident which took place during the period October 2019 until January 2020. It is alleged that the victims sold maize to Pretorius who would then load the maize from the victims farms and sell it to the Silos; GWK Aliwal and Senwes Bloemfontein. The agreement was that after he sold the maize he will compensate the victims. A total of 4057.235 ton was received by the accused and his company from the victims farms in Bultfontein but the victims did not receive their money as agreed.
As a result of non–payment, the victims then made enquiries at the entities were the maize was supposedly delivered and they discovered that some of the maize was delivered under the accused’s name as well as other entities unknown to the victims. As a result of these fraudulent activities, the victims were prejudiced and suffered a total loss of more than R18 million.
The matter was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation based in Bloemfontein for further investigation. Pretorius was arrested in 08 February 2021. He appeared in court on several occasions culminating in his recent conviction.
The case against Pretorius and Eco Grain CC has been remanded to Monday, 03 October 2022 until Tuesday, 04 October 2022 for sentencing.