PMB fraud accused was a magistrate

2009-05-08 00:00

Alleged “Casanova” fraudster, Johan Carel Fouche, also known as “Johnny” or “JC”, was formerly a relief magistrate who presided in courts throughout the province, including Pietermaritzburg, during the 1990s, Weekend Witness has learned.

He appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with 58 counts of fraud involving more than R67 000.

Former acquaintances of Fouche described him as “charming” and persuasive, especially with women.

Fouche resigned from the Justice Department during the mid-’90s, at which time he fell foul of the law.

When he appeared before Paul van Dongen, Fouche made no secret of the fact that he has spent time in prison before.

Fouche, a stout man dressed in faded jeans and a casual black jacket, said he was concerned that the investigating officer, Inspector Sunette Potgieter, and her partner were not in court and had not brought his bag of toiletries to him as promised.

When the magistrate commented that he was not sure what he would be allowed to take to prison with him, Fouche responded: “I know that I am allowed these things … I have been to prison before.”

He said at this stage he is content to represent himself in court and would not apply for legal aid or hire a lawyer. He said he does not intend to apply for bail and was happy for the case to be postponed for a month. He was remanded in custody until June 8.

Fouche was arrested at a flat in Annlin, Pretoria, on Wednesday, just weeks after the commercial crime unit released his photograph to the media and reported that he was being sought in connection with several cases of fraud committed in Pietermaritzburg and in Durban.

Police said they received information from the public.

They have also received fresh complaints and have reason to believe the present provisional charge sheet represents the “tip of the iceberg”.

Some of the allegations against Fouche involve “confidence tricks” against women he befriended.

He is charged with fraudulent presentation of cheques belonging to Nehemia Management Solutions cc, and the use of a credit and garage card owned by Fiona Pieters of Durban.

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