LeisureNet whisteblower 'living in poverty'

2013-01-30 11:11

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Cape Town - The woman who blew the whistle on the LeisureNet fraud scandal 11 years ago says it has left her in "abject poverty" and has resulted in her life being threatened, it was reported on Wednesday.

Former LeisureNet treasurer Wendy Addison told the Cape Times she left the country for the United Kingdom after exposing senior executives Peter Gardener and Rodney Mitchell.

The two were released from prison last month after serving roughly 19 months of a seven-year jail sentence.

The Western Cape High Court had found them guilty on charges of fraud involving R6m each, relating to the non-disclosure of their interest in a German gym operation bought by LeisureNet.

LeisureNet operated the Health and Racquet gym franchise and was liquidated in 2000 after running into financial difficulties.

Addison said that since being outed as a whistleblower, she had lived mainly on welfare in the UK.

She had joined Virgin Atlantic in London, the company which eventually took over LeisureNet, but was abruptly dismissed from that job.

"I did indeed end up begging on the streets of London with my 12-year-old son, while squatting in a house," she told the newspaper.

"I was met with a deafening silence from the SA judiciary, the same judiciary who had utilised my willingness to do the right thing for their own benefit."

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