A KwaZulu-Natal businessman has been found guilty of defrauding people out of almost R7 million. However, he has avoided jail time.
Jan Hendrik van Zyl (also known as Henk), was convicted by the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, who found him guilty of fraud by means of misrepresentation. Hawks spokesperson, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, explained Van Zyl owns a company named QPT Trading, which is based in Newcastle, with branches in both Amanzimtoti and Ballito.
During the trial, the court heard how Van Zyl told his victims that he was investing their cash in Forex Trading, promising them a 5% return per month—these crimes being committed between 2009 and 2014.
Discussing the matter, Captain Mhlongo says, “The contracts were signed, and he then paid out a few monthly returns and abruptly discontinued paying.”
With the matter being reported to the police and the case docket allocated to Hawks members from Durban Serious Commercial Crime to investigate, Mhlongo states, “Almost R 4.5 million was recovered and paid back to the investors.”
Following further investigations, Van Zyl was sentenced this month (October 2020) to 10 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years. This is on condition that he is not found guilty of the same offence during the period of suspension.
Additionally and to ensure justice prevails, Van Zyl has been ordered by the court to pay back the outstanding amount of R2.4 million. Which he has been ordered to pay in instalments of R 40 000 a month, as well as being sentenced to perform community service.
Well done to the Hawks on brining down a thief and ensuring justice is served.
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer