By Yolandé Stander
FRAUD and theft charges are mounting against disgraced former Mr Eastern Cape winner Ryno Botha, who allegedly conned customer care employees at major retail outlets in Nelson Mandela Bay and made off with goods worth thousands of rands.
Weekend Post earlier this month exposed Botha’s alleged activities, including the seven charges of fraud and theft he was facing in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
“Since Weekend Post’s story more and more people have reported run-ins with Botha and another 12 cases have been added,” said police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis. Botha’s alleged scam involved taking new items from shop shelves and then presenting them as faulty to customer services staff so a replacement could be issued. He would then allegedly walk out of the shop with the item without having paid for it.
Botha and his wife Charlene, who has since left him, were stripped of their Mr and Mrs Eastern Cape 2011 titles in December last year after allegedly “removing” pageant property.
Since his arrest Botha has appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court several times. He appeared again on Thursday, but the case was postponed.
He remains in custody at the St Albans Correctional Centre.
In addition the owner of the Elephant Walk Restaurant in Colleen Glen, Nadia Damseaux, has laid several complaints against Botha. She said he and Charlene never paid for their wedding reception held there on August 27 last year and still owed R8760 – an amount he allegedly agreed to settle on the night of the wedding after only paying the deposit of R1000.
Jarvis appealed to anyone who has had an incident with Botha to contact the Kabega Park police station, or phone 10111.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday February 25, 2012.