NORTH WEST – Gerard Jaques Du plessis (52) was sentenced to fifteen years direct imprisonment by the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on Monday for theft of approximately R30 million.

It is alleged that the accused was hired by the Brits mall to handle municipal payments on behalf of the mall from February 2017, instead of making the monthly payments as agreed, he allegedly pocketed the money and supplied fictitious receipts to the manager of the mall.

The deceit by the accused came to light when one day the water and lights for the mall were suddenly switched off by the municipality. The matter was reported to the Serious Commercial Crime unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and a thorough investigation was conducted. The accused was subsequently arrested in February 2018 in Brits and he was released on R50 000 bail. He made a series of court appearances until ultimately being found guilty on 22 counts of theft.