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Cape Town - Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown walked out the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday a free man, but said he would not rest until his investors had their money back.
“The job's not done yet. The people supporting me here are the investors of Fidentia, and now the fight starts with getting the money back from the curators,” a beaming Brown said on the steps of the court.
He was freed after paying a fine of R150 000, which was his sentence handed down by the court on Wednesday morning for two fraud convictions.
Had he not paid the fine, he would have been imprisoned for 36 months.
Brown was sentenced to 18 months in jail on each count, suspended for four years on condition he not be convicted for fraud again.
Brown was recently convicted after he admitted to misrepresentations he made regarding investments entrusted to him, by Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco) and the Transport Education and Training Authority.
Matco, subsequently renamed the Living Hands Umbrella Trust, was responsible for paying money from the mineworkers' provident fund to the widows and orphans of workers killed in mine accidents.
Many of these ex-mineworkers rallied around Brown as he spoke about the actions he planned to take against the curators.
“ 1/8I have planned 3/8 many things; pursuing the criminal charges, the civil actions that are running and doing proper forensic audits and getting the truth out,” he said.
“I have made a promise to these people. They've seen what the truth is and now the job needs to get done and until that's done, I'm not going to rest.”
Brown's eyes welled up as he thanked the investors who were supporting him.
“It's been a long journey. I can only thank them... and when I say I will support them, and when I say I will fight for them and won't rest until they're paid, they believe me.”
Brown said he planned to visit his two sons in Australia, who he had not seen for a few years because of strict bail conditions.
“Yes, I will definitely go see my children. That's been long overdue.”
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday the State might appeal against Brown's sentence.
“The position now is that we have asked for the transcripts of the judgment as well as the sentencing,” Western Cape NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said.
“We'll study them with a view of seeing whether we can apply for leave to appeal the sentence.” - Sapa