Cape Town - Convicted fraudster Oliver Thal has been ducking and diving court appearances.
Several victims are now frustrated as court proceedings have been delayed various times because he does not show up.
“He has only appeared once at court. This was in May. Since then he has been stalling with excuse after excuse. He says he is either sick or his wife is. After the first time he appeared he was arrested again for another matter and still he was let out on bail,” explained one of his victims.
According to a source well known by the Weekend Argus, Thal had not been showing up at the Alexander Magistrates Court. When a warrant of arrest is issued, he then explains and appears at the next set date. However, after that date he does not appear again and the cycle continues.
Earlier this year, Weekend Argus reported that he, along with his lawyer, handed himself over at the Midrand Police Station in Johannesburg.
He was then released on bail and set to appear in court on May 7.
Thal managed to evade arrest in Cape Town after he was found at a premises in Bellville on February 19. Police released him a few hours later because his warrant had been cancelled. The warrant was then re-issued on February 20 and an attempt to re-arrest him on February 21 proved fruitless according to a reliable source.
He then surfaced in Johannesburg and handed himself over at the Midrand Police Station.
Thal has managed to escape a few times. Police raided his home in Bellville and he managed to escape, while his wife was arrested. Western Cape SAPS confirmed to the Weekend Argus that a docket for defeating the ends of justice was opened by Brackenfell SAPS.
He was arrested for allegedly defrauding a Gauteng woman of about R300 000. He created a profile on an international dating site and posed as a single father looking after his six-year-old son.
He told her he had properties and offered to sell her property in Cape Town. She gave him R150 000 deposit for an apartment in Cape Town and another R150 000 for a stand situated in Houghton.
Independent financial crimes investigation company IRS Forensic Investigations has actively being investigating Thal and represented one of his alleged victims.
“Thal has been convicted on fraud-related charges previously. He knows the criminal justice system inside out and therefore knows how to play the system to his advantage”, said Chad Thomas, CEO of IRS.
“Thal is now playing the stalling game: over the past few months, he hasn’t pitched for court citing health reasons. Then he stalls the process by instructing his attorneys to make offers of settlement. Before the settlement is reached, he changes attorneys and appoints new counsel resulting in further delays. His victims are notably and justifiably frustrated. To make matters worse, new complainants are coming forward and registering cases against him. It’s time that the cases against him were consolidated and the NPA put their foot down. As it stands, he is making a mockery of our judicial system,” said Thomas.
Another victim, Madelaine Gome, in the Western Cape opened a case against Thal at the Milnerton Police Station after he promised that he could get her a car at a reasonable price. She had been referred to Thal by a colleague who had ties with him. Gome deposited R55 000 into the colleague’s account.
He said he could also sell her property in Woodbridge Island and she paid him R80 000 then R20 000
She later realised that he had made empty promises and he made a false payment at first of about R55 000 back to her. However, she was able to get him to pay back R50 000 but still owes her about R100 000.
The NPA did not respond to queries at the time of going to press.