Conman may be wanted elsewhere

2011-11-07 00:00

THE state is investigating the possiblity that a 44-year-old man, Johan Fifield, who was convicted last week of conning a Pietermaritzburg businessman out of cash by pretending to represent the Labour Department, is wanted in other parts of the country for other alleged offences.

Fifield, whose address on the charge sheet is a caravan park in Amanzimtoti, pleaded guilty before magistrate Bessie du Preez to a charge that he defrauded businessman Kershwin Padayachee of R1 380 in cash on October 22 this year. In a statement before the court Fifield admitted he unlawfully misrepresented to Padayachee that he was a labour broker working with the Labour Department.

“I thereafter advised Mr Padayachee that in order for his business to comply with the Department of Labour regulations he would have to pay me the sum of R1 380, which would cover the labour costs for the compliance. Mr Padayachee paid me the sum and I left his premises. I was arrested a couple of days later on a charge of fraud,” said Fifield.

Fifield was due to be sentenced on Friday, but the state asked for more time to determine whether he has previous convictions or outstanding cases.

Fifield’s attorney, Anita Willoughby, objected to the postponement. She said Fifield pleaded guilty and wants the matter finalised quickly. Granting the adjournment, however, Du Preez said: “If there is a possibility that there are previous convictions against the accused, justice would not be served if we were to proceed with this matter today.” The case was postponed to December 1.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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