LEPHALALE — The 55 year old Tony Freitas, a well-known businessman and co-owner of Bosveld Sentra in Lephalale, was arrested at Ringbult farm in Steenbokpan on Friday 27 January for the illegal hunting of specially protected wild animals, possession of rhino horn (although not found on the premises), the selling of body parts of specially protected wild animals and possession of parts of specially protected animals without a permit. He was granted bail on 1 February to the amount of R250 000 with certain conditions: he may not enter the farm where the alleged crime was committed; he may not interfere or intimidate any witnesses; he may only enter the lodge area on the farm which is in a confined area; he is not allowed to leave the Lephalale Municipal area without notifying the investigation officer.
Freitas appeared in Lephalale Regional Court on Thursday 9 March and he requested that some of the bail conditions be temporarily reviewed. He requested that his travel documents be handed back to him as he must travel to Portugal to deal with family matters.
The amount of R5 000 000 was added as part of his bail conditions to be forfeited to the state should he fail to come back to South Africa to attend his case.
He also handed in documents as proof that he is the owner of the farms and businesses in Lephalale. State prosecutor Mr Makoti did not want to accept the documents that were allegedly translated from Portuguese to English. He mentioned that there was no proof to show that the translation was from the original documents. He requested an affidavit or certified copies of the documents. The court was accommodated and Freitas’ lawyer provided proof of the documents and thus satisfied, he was handed back his travel documents.
The court stated that Freitas will leave South Africa on 31 March 2017 and he will be back by 23 April 2017. The court requires that he will hand in his travel documents to the investigating officer within 24 hours upon arrival in South Africa.
Freitas must appear in Lephalale Regional Court again on 5 May 2017 still subject to prior bail conditions.