AfriForum welcomes arrest of alleged holiday swindler Francois Swart

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Written By Maya Cantina

Swart is alleged to have defrauded would-be travellers of hundreds of thousands of rand in holiday trips that never materialised.

Lobby group AfriForum has welcomed the arrest of alleged holiday swindler Francois Swart.

The Priority Escapes travel agency boss is alleged to have defrauded would-be travellers of hundreds of thousands of rand in holiday trips that never materialised.

Swart is currently out on bail following his appearance in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court in December.

AfriForum private prosecution unit spokesperson Barry Bateman said the law has finally caught up with Swart, months after criminal complaints were filed against him.

“Although the conditions of his release on bail have not yet been established, AfriForum’s private prosecution unit is satisfied that the legal process to hold him accountable for his alleged offences is underway.

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Victims

AfriForum represents two complainants, Pamela-Anne Dolan and Bugs van Heerden who filed a criminal complaint against Swart at Modimolle Police Station in August last year.

The arrest warrant was issued in early December, following the intervention of the unit.

In the letter to Saps in September, head of the unit advocate Gerrie Nel said Swart received full payment from the duo for him to fulfil holiday arrangements on their behalf.

“The misrepresentation was furthered when the suspect issued documents purporting that the holiday was arranged and paid in full. It has since been confirmed that the documents the complainants received are false.”

Lost money

Dolan and Van Heerden say they are encouraged that the police have acted on their complaint. But, they have accepted that they will not recover the R130 000 they paid to Swart for their holidays.

“We aren’t doing this for ourselves, but for all the people who have lost money. We believe it is a cut-and-dry case. We were issued with travel vouchers to show that our holiday had been booked when in fact there was no booking at all,” said Dolan.

Swart will be back in court again on 23 February.

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