Admissions are contradictory - judge

2013-04-15 20:26
J Arthur Brown (Picture: Sapa)

J Arthur Brown (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Admissions made by former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown on a fraud count seemed to contradict each other, a Western Cape High Court judge said on Monday.

Judge Anton Veldhuizen said Brown admitted that Fidentia misrepresented itself when it told the Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco) it could afford to buy it out.

However, in the next sentence, he admitted that Fidentia had enough assets in the form of negotiable instruments to execute the sale of share agreement.

Braganza Pretorius, for Brown, was asked to explain the situation.

"The misrepresentation is that on that date [in 2004], Fidentia misrepresented that it was able to do so [to pay the full price]," the lawyer said.

Soon after, Matco handed over full control of the company to Fidentia before the purchase price was paid, as part of an agreement.

Pretorius said there was an affidavit by a State witness "that makes it so clear" as to why the company would do such a thing.

"But then why is that not set out for me... so I can see what's going on? My problem and my assessors' problem is that we don't know," the judge said.

Power exchange

If it were true that the company was "stupid enough" to hand over control before payment, it became its problem and not necessarily that of the court.

"If Matco was in agreement with this procedure, then there's no misrepresentation, and more importantly, where is the intention to do fraud?" he asked.

Pretorius said Brown had admitted to his version of events and it was up to the court to decide whether it constituted fraud.

"Mr Brown cannot make an admission which is false," the lawyer said.

Veldhuizen said he would be extremely unhappy if this were the case.

He said there was not enough information before the court and the possibility remained that the State would apply to re-open the case and pursue all nine original charges.

The trial was postponed until Tuesday for both legal parties to consider their options.

- SAPA
Read more on:    matco  |  fidentia  |  j arthur brown  |  cape town
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