June 24, 2017

News:

Businessman faces perjury charge over sale of car

Local businessman Benson Kago on Wednesday made a brief appearance at the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court facing a charge of perjury.

Legally, perjury refers to the act of wilfully and knowingly making a false statement about a material fact while under oath.

The perjury charge arose after Kago allegedly reported his BMW X6 stolen in January after entering into an agreement with Bloemfontein car dealership the Car Company based in Church Street.
But Kago, who is originally from Kenya and is now a South African citizen, is denying that he ever entered into any agreement with the company to sell his car.

The car was eventually recovered in Lesotho by police after being tracked down by his car tracking firm. The new owner was initially arrested facing a charge of theft but was set free and given the car back after presenting all the paperwork confirming a full payment of about R320 000 made to the car dealership.

Kago told The Weekly outside court that the case was initially struck off the roll in March due to lack of evidence and was surprised that it had been put back despite the fact that he still does not have his car and that he has not been paid anything for it by the Car Company.

“I was arrested on March 3 at the Windmill Casino where I was celebrating the birthday of my set of twins with my wife,” said a distraught looking Kago.

“I spent the weekend in the cells at Park Road Police Station and my lawyer couldn’t get me out after making an urgent application for my release because the investigating officer said he was out in Kroonstad with the docket. When I was brought here (court) on the Monday, I never appeared before the magistrate.

I was taken from the cells and told that I was being released on warning as there wasn’t sufficient evidence against me,” he added.

However, two weeks later, said Kago who is represented by Legal Wise, he was called by the police telling him his case had been reinstated and they will be serving him with summons to appear in court on April 10. The case was further postponed to May 3.

And in yet another brief appearance this week which hardly lasted three minutes, the matter was postponed to May 10, to allow the state to come up with a trial date.

It is believed that Kago advertised his car online on OLX sometime towards the end of January. The car was selling for R380 000.

He is said to have been approached by people from the Car Company who expressed an interest in the car but he told them he did not intend sell it a through a dealership.

It is also alleged that he was told they were not looking at reselling it but rather, their boss wanted to buy it for his wife.

It is yet to be explained in court how the car ended up in Lesotho with all the paperwork done by the Car Company without the consent of Kago.

Efforts to get a comment from the Car Campany proved proved difficult as this reporter was threatened with a lawsuit by manager Jaco Rademeyer for any incorrect reporting.
“I will sue you and the publication if you do not report correctly on this issue,” said Rademeyer.

The manager who sounded agitated throughout the conversation insisted on knowning in what capacity this reporter was pursuing the matter.

When told that it was a matter of public interest and that journalists have the right to cover such issues, he then warned that he was going to start recording the conversation.

He would however not give much information except confirming that Kago was facing a charge of perjury.

“He is facing a charge of perjury for falsely accusing the Car Company of selling his car without consent,” said Randemeyer.

He would not divulge much information saying he was warned by the police not to speak to the media about it.

Car Company staff are expected to be among the witnesses to the state case.

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