Travel scam accused granted bail

2014-08-04 20:54
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Pretoria - One of the women in a travel scam that led to the murder of a policeman was granted bail in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Monday.

"At this stage, it seems there is not a lot of certainty regarding your involvement," Magistrate Pierre Wessels told Salome Klopper.

Klopper appeared with Renette Wright, while Wright's husband Hendrick Jacobus Wright was not present as he was in hospital.

The two women were applying for bail. The three are accused of defrauding Adriaan Petrus Johnson of R26 000. Johnson allegedly paid the money to the Wrights' company, Zambezi Tours and Safari, which was selling holiday packages.

Investigating officer Constable John Ramollo told the court the modus operandi of the business was to cancel trips a week before the departure date, with clients never getting their refunds.

Klopper was said to be a receptionist and secretary. They were arrested on 24 July in Sinoville, Pretoria.

A police officer, Warrant Officer Ben Strydom, 47, was shot dead during a raid at their house while trying to arrest the husband.

According to police, when Hendrick Wright saw the police, he tried to escape through another door of the house but Strydom caught him. He allegedly drew a firearm and shot the policeman before fleeing.

While travelling on the Moloto Road, he stopped his car and shot and wounded himself.

Ramollo said the accused mostly defrauded pensioners.

He told the court that accused should not be granted bail as they were a flight risk.

He told the court how the Wrights planned to skip the country before they were arrested.

He said passports were discovered in a car when they were arrested.

‘Business interests’

Ramollo added that the accused had business interests in Namibia and that should be taken into consideration during their bail application.

Klopper's lawyer, Fred Klein, handed in her passport to the court on Monday.

Wessels told Klopper that there was a warrant for her arrest but it was issued while she was in custody.

"There is no evidence that you [Klopper] also have business interests in Namibia. It is not in the interest of justice to keep you in custody," he said.

She was granted bail of R10 000 while Wright remained in custody.

Wessels postponed the matter to 11 August to allow the investigating officer to confirm the address given by Wright during her application.

Wessels added that he wanted a new doctor's report regarding the condition of Wright in hospital.



Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  fraud

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.