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Alleged conwoman’s bail ruling pending

Bail hearings for a woman who allegedly conned several holidaymakers over the December holidays are ongoing.

Mariëtte Lourens (58) faces several charges of corruption after she was arrested on 31 December (“Geen borgtog vir ‘agent’ ná slenter”, Hermanus Times, 24 January 2019).

According to a press release from the Overberg District Municipality, she pretended to be a rental agent for the Uilenkraalsmond holiday resort in Gansbaai. Several holidaymakers turned up for their holiday, only to find there is no booking for them at the resort.

Lourens appeared in the Hermanus Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 30 January and again on Tuesday 5 February.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape, said the accused, at her first hearing, had testified she should be granted bail because the medical treatment she requires could not be obtained in prison.

After some deliberation, the magistrate ruled that she seek medical attention to verify the claim before a final decision is made.

Lourens’ claim has since been refuted by a doctor at Hermanus Provincial Hospital, who indicated her medical condition is not so severe that it would necessitate her release.

At the second hearing on Tuesday 5 February, the state testified why bail should not be granted.

The outcome of the bail application could not be verified before going to print on Wednesday.

The accused will appear at the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on 8 February.

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