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A South African businessman was last week arraigned before the courts on allegations of duping his business partners of more than $200 000.

Rudolf Lucas Willem Swart (54) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with theft of trust property and was remanded in custody to Thursday this week.

The prosecutor Mr Michael Reza argued that Swart was not a proper candidate for bail because he was a flight risk.

“The State is worried that the accused may abscond if granted bail because he is a South African and might decide to flee to his country,” he said.

“Moreover, he has two national identity cards, the other being a Zambian one and it is the one he showed the police upon his arrest. He is a dubious character and he has five pending similar cases. We are worried that if he is released on bail he might not stand trial.”

Mr Reza further argued that Swart had also defrauded his previous partners and could interfere with investigations.

“In the pending cases, the accused allegedly duped his partners of almost $200 000 and if granted bail we are worried he won’t stand trial considering he might get a lengthy custodial sentence upon conviction,” he said.

Allegations are that sometime in 2011, Swart was given a bulldozer and a tow along compressor by his business partner for safe keeping.

The court heard that Swart allegedly sold the property and converted the money to his own use. He also prejudiced his partners in other pending cases.

Source : The Herald