09 December 2018


Botswana fraudster sentenced to 10 years in prison

by: Obakeng Maje   date: 11 February 2018

Botswana national, Daniel Smit, will spend the next 10 years in jail for fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years direct imprisonment by the North West High Court in Mahikeng on Friday. 
The 49-year-old Smit was found guilty of fraud after he was arrested by the Hawks and charged with four counts of cattle fraud amounting to over R6.8 million.
He was nabbed along with his wife, Cornelia Elizabeth Steinberg-Smit. Smit pleaded guilty to all charges of defrauding farmers in Bokone Bophirima province as well as a family member, who practises as a medical doctor in Canada.  Charges against his wife were subsequently withdrawn.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson, Frank Lesenyego, said Smit is a resident of Botswana, but does his business mostly in Bokone Bophirima. 
“The accused committed the crimes mainly by taking possession of cattle and maize without paying, receiving money to purchase cattle on behalf of complainants and failing to purchase the cattle and failing to return their money.
“He was subsequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 11 December 2017, which was wholly suspended on condition that he repays the complainants, Jan Le Roux, Gerhard Meyer, Johan Schikerling and Basie Spies a total amount of R4 400 000, 00 on or before 11 January 2018,” Lesenyego said. 
Smit appeared in court again on 29 January after he failed to pay the complainants their monies as ordered by the court. He applied for a postponement until 9 February 2018, claiming that he has got R5.5 million in the United States-based Capital Bank account that was supposed to be paid into his South African account. North West High Court Judge, Samkelo Gura, granted him the postponement, but he still failed to come up with the money to pay his victims.
Judge Gura eventually reinstated the 10-year prison sentence.