Additional cases opened against alleged holiday swindler Francois Swart

Days ahead of Priority Escapes owner Francois Swart’s appearance in the Modimolle Magistrates Court, AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit helped yet another would-be holiday-maker file a criminal complaint against him. Ruan Kruger opened the case at the Douglasdale Police Station on Wednesday. Swart’s court appearance today relates to the case opened in Modimolle in August last year.

Swart, the managing director of Priority Escapes , is alleged to have defrauded many would-be holiday-makers of hundreds of thousands of rand. The unit now represents several complainants who have filed criminal complaints against Swart. Today, the state prosecutor asked the court for a postponement for the police to finalise the investigation, as bank statements still need to be obtained.

The unit’s consultations with complainants have identified people with close ties to Swart as additional possible suspects.

While at court, the Private Prosecution Unit identified a very serious breach of court security and will be reporting the matter to the court manager and the Chief Magistrate office. Swart and his attorney Tracey Lomax parked in the area reserved for Department of Justice employees, and entered the court without going through the security screening all other people are subjected to. They later left the same way despite the unit raising this concern with security personnel.

Ordinary members of the public are required to fill in a security register, their bags are checked and they are body searched before being allowed into the building. Swart, as an accused person, bypassed this process together with his attorney. This incident has raised concerns that certain accused persons are afforded privileges not granted to ordinary members of the public when attending court proceedings.

The matter was postponed to 25 April 2024.

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