Home South Africa Man jailed for defrauding Free State maize farmers of R18m

Man jailed for defrauding Free State maize farmers of R18m


Philippus Prinsloo Praetorius outside the court.

PHOTO: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

A man has been jailed for eight years for defrauding Free State farmers of more than 18 million rand after they failed to pay them for thousands of tonnes of maize.

Philip Prinsloo Pretorius, 51, and his company, Eco Grain CC, were sentenced in the Bloemfontein High Court on Tuesday.

The court heard that Pretorius bought maize from farmers in Bultfontein between October 2019 and January 2020. The arrangement was that Pretorius would sell the maize in a bunker and then pay the farmers.

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Pretorius took more than 4,000 tonnes of maize from farmers but the victims were not paid as agreed, Hawks spokesman Captain Christopher Singa said.

“As a result of the non-payment, the victims then made inquiries to the organization where the corn was allegedly supplied, and it turned out that some of the corn was supplied under the name of the accused, as well as by other organizations unknown to the victims.

“As a result of these fraudulent activities, the victims were harmed and the total loss amounted to more than 18 million rand,” Singa said.

The Hawks investigated the matter and arrested Pretorius in February 2021.

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