Farmer in VAT fraud case charged with chicken theft

2017-01-20 12:24
Marius Delport tries to shield himself and his parents from reporters' cameras in court. (Alzane Narrain, Netwerk24)

Marius Delport tries to shield himself and his parents from reporters' cameras in court. (Alzane Narrain, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein - A Bloemfontein farmer, who made headlines last year when he and his parents were charged with VAT fraud to the tune of R59m, has been accused of stealing chickens.

Marius Delport, 36, made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where he was charged with theft, Netwerk24 reported.

The State claims Delport, who farms chickens on the farm Putpan, in the Bloemfontein district, bought chickens worth R73 845 from an RB Nelay between September 23 and December 8 last year, but allegedly did not pay for them.

He was granted R5 000 bail and would be back in court in March. 

Delport and his parents Norman, 65, and Johanna, 58, face 135 charges of VAT fraud involving R59m. A company, Two Ships Trading 373, with Norman Delport as sole director, was also charged.

An alternative charge is that of statutory contravention of the VAT law.

According to the indictment, the Delport couple are trustees of the Delport Family Trust and the Eden Rock Trust. Both are registered for VAT for farming purposes.

The Delport Family Trust allegedly padded VAT claims by R15m between 2011 and 2014. The amount for the Eden Rock Trust from 2011 to 2015 is said to total R21m.

Two Ships Trading allegedly unlawfully claimed VAT of R23.5m from 2008 to 2012, according to the indictment.

Marius Delport said in his bail application that he supplied Spar, Shoprite Checkers and Woolworths with about 80 000 slaughtered chickens a month.

The Delports were freed on R50 000 bail each in November last year and the case was referred to the Bloemfontein High Court. 

Their company, a close corporation, and two trusts were provisionally declared bankrupt in the high court last year because of an R8m debt to Standard Bank.   

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  crime

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