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EASTERN CAPE:- On the 9 December 2021, The Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crime court sentenced Anne Johanna Swanepoel (47) to 15 years imprisonment, five of which is suspended for 5 years for charges on numerous counts of fraud, theft and contempt of court on.
Prior to 27 August 2015,Swanepoel was an admitted attorney who was entitled to practise on her own account as a practising practitioner as defined in the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979. On 27 August 2015, the High Court of South Africa ,Eastern Cape Division ,Grahamstown ordered that Swanepoel be struck off the attorneys roll as she was involved in fraudulent activities in line with her practising as an attorney.
During the period between 27 October 2015 and 05 December 2017,Swanepoel received money from the clients who needed to be represented in court. Swanepoel never divulged her status to the clients as a result they were disappointed when she could not represent them or send someone to represent them in court. Clients thus lodged a complaint with the Gqeberha Serious Commercial Crimes Court for probing which culminated to her arrest on 26 October 2018.
Swanepoel made her short appearance the very same day where she was released on bail. The investigations further revealed that the complainants were prejudiced cash to the value of more than R33 000.
After a series of court appearances ,Swanepoel was ultimately convicted and sentenced on the 9 December 2021. She was sentenced to15 years imprisonment of which 5 years is suspended for 5 years meaning which she will spend 10 years behind bars.
The Gqeberha Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team of the Hawks is once more lauded by the Provincial Head Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya for the dedication in uprooting criminal elements in the society without fear or favour.