Ripped off by a smooth conman

By admin
18 June 2010

Dr Petro Basson (49) shakes her head in disbelief about the romance with flamboyant businessman Nicholas Rademeyer (53), which last year cost her about R1 million.

He was everything she’d ever wanted: a committed Christian and so honest, loving, positive, intelligent and hardworking. Or so she believed, right up to the point he “borrowed” the last cent of her pension and the money from the sale of her house.

“He told me he’d been married four times but not about his debt and all the other women he’d borrowed from and never paid back . . . like the one before me to whom he owes almost R1 million. Or that there are at least two cases against him for debt and that he has been sequestrated and blacklisted.”

Petro’s misery began last year when a Bloemfontein scientist who manufactures food supplements approached her with a business proposal. “He said I should meet a Nicholas Rademeyer.”

Before long Petro was deeply in love with him.

“He courted me with flowers and dinner dates and took me along on business trips in his gold-coloured Mercedes SLK as we listened to romantic music. He told me God had given him a woman who surpassed all his dreams.”

Two weeks after they met he stopped at Meiringspoort on one of their trips. “We walked up the mountain to the waterfall. There on the rocks he went on his knees and took a small Bible from his pocket. He said, ‘It’s very important to me that this is my first gift to you. Will you please marry me, before the end of the year?’

“It was such a surprise. I was over the moon and immediately said yes.”

They were due to get married on 24 October. Petro sold her house and they moved to Cape Town.

Because of the hitches setting up the company the wedding was postponed to 30 January. By December Nicholas had milked Petro of all her money.

On 6 January reality hit home when Nicholas sent Petro an SMS saying it was over between them, that she made him feel inferior to her son, humiliated him and didn’t respect him as the king of the castle.

She has laid fraud charges against Nicholas and handed the police her cellphone with all the SMSes in which he repeatedly promises to pay her back. To date nothing has come of his promises.

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