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Liquor licence seems fraudulent

A Wellington police officer is being investigated for fraud after whistle-blower Natasha Downe made serious allegations regarding a faked signature.

Downe has spent the past four months trying to stop the Club Neavou from being awarded a liquor licence. The application was submitted by controversial public figure Jerome Booysen for Club Neavou on the corner of Denne and End Streets in Wellington.

She said the designated liquor officer, Warrant Officer P.D. Novella, who was tasked to engage with the community for public input, a legal requirement, faked the signature of a man who lives adjacent the club. Alroy Julies, who is also a police officer by profession, confirmed to the Paarl Post that the signature on the proof of service of notification of application is fake as he did not sign the notification. He is not sure who did.

Downe claims the club will contribute to the decaying of the area. “There are too many irregularities about this application; since when is it acceptable to forge a signature?” she asked. Downe’s community initiative Guardians for the Valley hosted two community meetings on 15 and 16 October and Paarl Post saw 23 community members’ signatures in a mandate which opposes the application. Downe said she has lists of “hundreds” more signatures.

The application was conditionally approved in August this year but Downe said she appealed against the decision. She lost the appeal on Thursday 25 October. During the past few weeks Downe has been relentless in her actions to put an end to the application. She said she will not stop until the community is met with answers. “I will not stop until every role player answers to the community,” added Downe.

Wellington police spokesperson Captain Basil Seekoei said detectives are investigating a case of fraud.

“The case has been reported and is getting the necessary attention it deserves. Statements will be obtained after which the case will be sent to the Public Prosecutor for a decision.”

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