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Herman Pretorius’s widow loses sequestration battle

Leave to appeal sequestration order is denied.

JOHANNESBURG – The widow of Ponzi mastermind Herman Pretorius has lost another battle in the bid to stop her own sequestration. Last week Susan Pretorius applied for leave to appeal a final sequestration order granted against her estate. The order was handed down by acting Judge Wilhelm van Staden last year.

On Thursday January 23 Van Staden dismissed Susan Pretorius’s application for leave to appeal. Van Staden concluded that an appeal had no reasonable prospect of success.

The application to sequestrate Susan Pretorius’s estate was brought by the trustees of the RVAF and Seca trusts, entities that received money from Pretorius’s investors.

Herman Pretorius’s scheme collapsed in July last year. Faced with investor withdrawals he couldn’t meet, Pretorius shot his former business partner Julian Williams before turning the gun on himself. The investment scheme received an estimated R2.2bn from about 3000 investors.

Last week Susan Pretorius denied that she was insolvent. She claimed the court had erred in holding that she was not the beneficiary of a life insurance policy worth R8m. However, Van Staden said that Pretorius had an opportunity to present further evidence on or before the return day.

Van Staden ordered that the costs of the application for leave to appeal, including the costs of two counsel, be costs in Susan Pretorius’s sequestration.

The curators of Herman Pretorius’s RVAF are still struggling to trace investor money, including funds that were moved to UK and Switzerland. 

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