Official in court for allegedly stealing bank info

2015-05-20 16:52
Magistrates are demanding a single pay structure for the judiciary: one that would have their salaries and benefits put on the same sliding scale as those of judges.

Magistrates are demanding a single pay structure for the judiciary: one that would have their salaries and benefits put on the same sliding scale as those of judges.

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Bellville - A senior official at African Bank was embarrassed when the sheriff and an IT specialist arrived suddenly to search his desk and laptop for illegal information allegedly stolen from Capitec, a court in Cape Town heard on Wednesday.

Faick Davids, who resigned from Capitec after nine years to join African Bank, appeared before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

Davids previously held a management post with accountant Andre Olivier at Boland Bank before the bank crisis of a decade ago saw it swallowed up, first by the Board of Executors (BOE) and then by Nedbank.

Olivier joined Capitec, at the time a small micro-lending business, and built it up to what Capitec is today.

In the process, he specially recruited Davids in June 2001 for his branch management skills and “high levels of energy” to become Olivier’s “right-hand-man” at Capitec.

According to prosecutor Derek Vogel, Davids “shocked” everyone at Capitec nine years later when he resigned to join competitor, African Bank.

Davids is alleged to have fraudulently accessed Capitec's electronic data, for unauthorised purposes, prior to leaving Capitec’s employ.

Davids is also charged with violating the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA), relating to his alleged unauthorised access of the data.

He has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Capitec's legal adviser, Eben van Loggerenberg, told the court he was appointed by the bank to supervise a search of African Bank’s premises to look for stolen electronic data.

The search had to go strictly according to a high court order authorising it, he said.

'I felt sorry for him'

The court order authorised the sheriff to remove anything from African Bank’s premises that in fact belonged to Capitec.

“I, as Capitec’s supervising attorney, arrived unexpectedly at African Bank with the sheriff in December 2009," Van Loggerenberg told the court.

“We informed the receptionist that we were there to execute a court order, and she called Davids.

“Davids was embarrassed over our presence, and asked us to move to a more private area, and we moved to a lounge.

“I sat next to Davids, and I explained the court order to him, paragraph for paragraph.

“I informed Davids of his rights, and explained the process that was to follow.

“I warned him that he could be punished for contempt of court if he obstructed the sheriff’s search of his desk and laptop.

“I informed Davids that he had the right to the presence of his attorney, but he said this was not necessary and that he wished to comply fully with the court order.

“We then moved to a boardroom to discuss the execution of the court order, and African Bank’s compliance officer asked us not to create a scene in the bank.

“We explained what Capitec was after, and Davids took us to his desk where we seized a number of DVDs and other storage devices, which we handed to our IT expert.”

Questioned by defence advocate, Yvette Isaacs, Van Loggerenberg added: “Davids was very embarrassed, and I felt sorry for him. We took our time, and did not storm the place – nothing was done in a hostile manner.”

He said the search was part of an Anton Pillar procedure, aimed at preserving evidence in civil proceedings before it can be destroyed or tampered with.

Isaacs said Davids had had no option other than to co-operate with the sheriff.

Van Loggerenberg replied: “As Capitec’s supervising attorney, I made a point of being conciliatory and not hostile. I told him he had the right to his attorney’s presence, but that he had only one hour to decide, after which we would proceed.”

Isaacs said Davids had no choice but to co-operate, failing which he would face contempt of court proceedings in the high court.

Van Loggerenberg replied: “Yes, he had to comply, but he first had an hour in which to decide whether he wanted his attorney present.”

The case continues on Friday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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