Alleged fake death: KZN lawyer ‘betrayed the community’

2017-12-27 13:30
Jan Adriaan Venter and Rozanne Vosloo. This photograph was printed in Venter's funeral pamphlet.

Jan Adriaan Venter and Rozanne Vosloo. This photograph was printed in Venter's funeral pamphlet. ( Supplied )

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“This is a small town ... and people talk a lot of k*k about everyone else — well obviously. But this time they weren’t.”

This Vryheid resident — who did not wish to named — was reacting to the news that local lawyer Jan Adriaan Venter (34) had “risen from the dead”.

Venter is accused — with the help of his fiancée Rozanne Vosloo — of faking his own death in order to avoid facing the criminal and civil consequences of an alleged R4,5 million shortage in his trust account.

It is alleged that while in hiding they, or others, tried to claim on a R25 million insurance policy he had with Liberty Life.

While everyone in the small community is talking about it, no one will go on record.

Venter’s parents are well-respected in the community. His dad Frik is a farmer and his mother Remerta is a school teacher. They are church-goers.

Venter was born in Vryheid but attended school in Durban “because he was a good swimmer”.

“The church was packed for the so-called memorial service. His parents looked absolutely devastated. I saw the mom about a month ago and she had lost so much weight,” another source said.

“I don’t believe they knew it was all a sham.”

The resident said there were so many stories flying around when his death was first reported and initially it had been rumoured that he had been a victim of a violent hijacking.

“There was no coffin at the service. And we assumed that perhaps his body was being held by the police for post mortem purposes.

“Even at the time of the memorial we did not know exactly what had happened. It was only afterwards that the family put a notice in the newspaper advising that it was confirmed that he’d had a heart attack.”

Since the news of Venter and Vosloo’s arrests recently, neither family has been seen in the town.

Several residents told The Witness they preferred it that way.

“I don’t want to bump into any of them ... I wouldn’t know what to say. In fact I don’t want to say anything. He didn’t only betray the people he stole from ... he betrayed the community,” said a resident.

Five months after the memorial, Venter and Vosloo were arrested by police from Durban’s Point police station on fraud charges.

They were released on the same day because of insufficient evidence in the docket at that time.

But a police source confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and the docket is with the chief prosecutor in Durban for a decision.

NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara confirmed that the investigation was now being guided by a prosecutor.

The local Vryheid Herald reported last week that Vosloo was considering turning state witness.

It is also believed that the police investigation will spread its wings to include how Venter managed to falsify a death certificate and have himself “cremated”.

Liberty Life, which hired a private detective to probe Venter’s alleged death and the subsequent insurance claim lodged in August this year, referred all inquiries to the police.

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society has confirmed that it has reported the matter to the Hawks and intends, early in the new year, to revitalise the strike-off application.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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