Former Red Ants director jailed for 10 years in fraud, gun case

2018-02-02 20:05
Magistrate's court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrate's court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A former head of the Red Ants security company, who was arrested several times over a few years, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail in Johannesburg.

Dennis Klassen, a former director and chief operations officer of Red Ants Security Services, which is best known for demolishing illegally erected homes, was sentenced in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

News24 has seen a court document which shows that he was sentenced to four years in jail for two counts of fraud, five years for a firearms-related charge and one year for violating the Company's Act.

Klassen had been arrested at least three times between 2014 and 2017. 

In May last year, Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said that Klassen had been facing fraud charges as well as charges relating to unlicensed firearms.

READ: Ex-security company boss in massive fraud, firearms matter back in hot water

"Both cases are being investigated by the national investigation unit (SAPS)," she had said.

Firearms 

Klassen was initially arrested in 2014 on his farm in Vredenburg.

A police press statement at the time said: "Mr Klassen allegedly bought firearms at Kalahari Arms in Johannesburg and couriered them to El Paso Guns in Cape Town.

"He is alleged to have used the security company’s funds to buy the firearms, which included four rifles, two pump-action shotguns and three pistols." 

In 2015, according to another police statement, Klassen and his daughter Rochelle Klassen-Adonis, a former director of the Red Ants branch in Cape Town, had appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court in another case on 102 charges of fraud and theft involving roughly R8m.

"[Klassen and his daughter] are accused of acting together in defrauding the company [Red Ants] assets and shares. These crimes are alleged to have taken place between 2010 and 2013," the police statement said.

News24 understands the 102 charges of fraud and theft were subsequently provisionally withdrawn.

Klassen was arrested again in September 2016.

He was taken into custody on his Vredenburg farm and then transported to Johannesburg to appear in court.

Three months before this, the Hawks had raided three properties linked to him, including his Vredenburg farm and a Bellville home belonging to Klassen-Adonis.

During the raid on this home, Klassen-Adonis and her husband Garth Petrovich Adonis were arrested.

Fraudulent travel claim

This followed several investigations into fraudulent insurance claims totalling hundreds of thousands of rands.

READ: Bellville couple sentenced for fake burglary insurance claim

In June 2016, the couple were sentenced to five years in jail, wholly suspended for five years.

They entered into a plea agreement in the Bellville Magistrate's Court.

Klassen also faced legal action before this.

A judgment from the Labour Court in Johannesburg said he had been the executive manager of network field operations for Telkom SA.

But it said Klassen was dismissed on August 6, 2009, after being found guilty of three of four charges he had faced.

These charges, according to the judgment, had included using Telkom resources for private business, fraud relating to a R48 000 butchery bill and a fraudulent travel claim.

Read more on:    courts

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