Cape Town – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has praised its “smart prosecutors” after a bogus police officer was sentenced to an effective six years in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week.
Michael McDonald Jantjiies, 52, was found guilty of forgery, fraud and impersonating a police officer after he conned people out of nearly R500 000 worth of money and other valuables, pretending to be a former police officer waiting for his pension money.
The NPA’s Eric Ntabazalila said Jantjies was not a retired police officer and was never a police officer.
Ntabazalila said the conman proposed love to some of his victims, while others were his friends.
While defrauding victims, he would present them with bogus certificates of appreciation and employee of the month certificates.
“He would then tell his victims that he was a retiring colonel in the SAPS, he was awaiting his SAPS pension monies which were due to him, he required monies in order to withdraw the said pension monies and that he would reimburse the advances his victims gave when he receives his pension monies,” Ntabazalila said.
“They believed him and he not only took their monies but their vehicles, jewellery, cellphones, laptop and travel bag,” he said.
Jantjies was arrested, but continued with his crimes after he was released on bail, moving to different areas.
Advocate Jannie Knipe of the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court said the NPA had opposed bail after he was rearrested for the same crimes.
“Although this matter does not strictly fall within our mandate, we decided and made a request to the SAPS for us to deal with the same in order to ensure a successful outcome,” he said.
“Finally, faced with the combined charges and a potentially lengthy trial while incarcerated, the accused opted for entering into the plea and sentence agreement in terms of which he was convicted and sentenced,” he said.
Jantjies was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, half of which was suspended.
A further two years was imposed for impersonating a police officer and an additional four years for fraud.
The sentences are to be served concurrently with the lengthier sentence, which means that his effective sentence amounts to six years.
Ntabazalila said Jantjies asked the victims for forgiveness for the crimes he committed “while being possessed by what he experiences as some diabolical evil spirit”.