The National Prosecuting Authority said they were ready to proceed with a trial against a Potchefstroom diamond dealer arrested for theft.
Fritz Stefanus VIisser, 51, faces a charge of theft relating to the sale of a diamond worth R50 million back in 2016.
The matter was transferred from The Potchefstroom Regional Court on Monday to the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
Explaining the charges, provincial NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said it is alleged that during the period of May 23, 2016, the complainant who operates a diamond mine with his brother in Ventersdorp, discovered a diamond of over a hundred carats.
It is alleged that the brothers had received an offer of R42 million in their attempt to find a suitable buyer.
However, it is further alleged that Vlisser who is a licensed diamond dealer and a person they have had previous transactions with, told them he had an offer of R50 million from another prospective buyer,” said Mamothame.
Mamothame said that following a series of engagements between the complainants and Vlisser the diamond was allegedly delivered to his office in Johannesburg on July 12, 2016.
“It is alleged Vlisser sold the diamond for R38 million on the same day and received payment.”
The NPA said it was alleged that between July 2016 and December 2017, Vlisser only paid the complainants an amount of R18 million.
“This is when they decided to open a case of theft against him, ” Mamothame added.
Mamothame said the State intended to argue during the trial that Vlisser’s actions were premeditated.
“As he intercepted a move by the complainant to sell the diamond to a buyer of their choice by deceiving them with a lie about a buyer who wanted to offer more money, ” Mamothame said.
Mamothame said the complainants realised they were defrauded when they wanted to return the R18 million to Vlisser in return for their diamond.
“Only to realise that the diamond was long sold, ” Mamothame said.
Mamothame concluded that investigations into the matter have been completed and the state is ready to proceed with the trial.
The matter was adjourned to October 23.
Vlisser’s bail of R10,000 was extended.