Former Eastern Cape attorney sentenced to 10 years imprisonment
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CAPE TOWN - The Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crime court sentenced a former attorney to 15 years imprisonment after she was convicted on numerous counts of fraud, theft and contempt of court.
Anne Johanna Swanepoel, 47, had five years of her sentence suspended for five years, meaning she will only be behind bars for 10 years.
She was an admitted attorney who was entitled to practice on her own account as a practising practitioner as defined in the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979.
However, provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, said on August 27, 2015, the Grahamstown High Court 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 October 27, 2015, and December 5, 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 Crime Investigation team for probing, which culminated in her arrest on October 26, 2018,” Mgolodela said.
She said investigations into the allegations further revealed that the complainants were prejudiced to the value of more than R33 000.
Swanepoel was convicted of her crimes on December 9, 2021.
Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya, lauded the investigators for their dedication in uprooting criminals in society without fear or favour.