Emotional Brown gives testimony

2013-04-29 18:52
J Arthur Brown (Picture: Sapa)

J Arthur Brown (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Sentencing arguments in the trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown were postponed by the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Brown, who is out on R1m bail, was asked to return to court on Tuesday.

He spent the day giving emotional testimony in mitigation of sentencing, detailing the impact his three arrests and curatorship of Fidentia had on his personal and professional life.

Brown was recently found guilty on two counts of fraud, for misrepresentations he made in handling investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company.

He was acquitted on seven other charges of corruption, money-laundering, theft, and fraud.

He said his relationship with the Financial Services Board (FSB) during their investigation into the company was initially civil, but soon turned sour.

FSB inspectors, accompanied by policemen with automatic rifles, stormed into Fidentia's premises in November 2006 and accused him of obstructing justice and making threats.

He said he was treated like a criminal and told: "You are completely tainted. You stole widows' and orphans' money."

He tried to present options to the FSB that did not involve curatorship as he knew the effect it would have on investors, but these were ignored.

His life came to a standstill when his bank account and that of his wife and children were frozen.

"[This was all because of the] vexatious allegation that I had smuggled money offshore... I was arrested [in 2007] on some 192 charges.

"Any friend I had, any business associate that dared stand up and tried to defend me was either discredited in the media or their business was affected."

Brown said he tried to set up another business with friends after the curatorship, to provide for his family, but the FSB shut it down.

Following "massive media hype" he received letters from various organisations to say they had released him of his advisory directorship because of the potential damage to their brand. He was also released from his position as a church elder and told: "It's not good for you to be associated with the brand."

Brown said his family was torn apart and they lived on handouts. His wife became severely depressed and moved in with friends after the media camped out near their house.

"She was very scared in the house. Someone set up a webcam across the road and set up a website with a link... the situation [also] became increasingly bad for the boys at school," he said.

Brown was arrested twice more. His last arrest resulted in him being incarcerated between April and October 2008.

A warrant of arrest was issued for his wife at the time, which he believed was a move to force him to plead guilty or enter a plea bargain.

"She was never part of my business. At the time, we shared a bank account," he said.

In the same year, a court handed down a final sequestration order.

In 2009, his wife and sons moved to Australia. He had not seen his sons since then because of strict bail conditions.

While awaiting trial in Pollsmoor Prison he was attacked on two separate occasions and spent a few weeks recovering in hospital, chained to a bed because he was deemed a flight risk.

The court heard Brown remained under tight bail conditions such as signing in at a police station every morning and not leaving the Western Cape.

This had prevented him from accepting two job offers, as they were outside the province.

Earlier on Monday, Brown said the purpose of taking the stand during sentencing arguments was not to apportion blame, but to take responsibility for his mistakes and share his side of the story.

- SAPA
Read more on:    fidentia  |  j arthur brown  |  cape town
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.