South Africa 24.4.2015 02:30 pm

Man’s plan to defraud Londolozi Game Reserve

Wade Morgan Williams in court. Pic: Lowvelder

Wade Morgan Williams in court. Pic: Lowvelder

An employee of Londolozi Game Reserve, Wade Morgan Williams, 30, was denied bail on Tuesday after state witnesses delivered testimonies alleging he had plotted for more than a year his robbery of the luxurious lodge in Mpumalanga. Williams was arrested on the morning of Sunday, April 5 after causing havoc at the reserve the previous evening.

This week he had to face the music at his bail hearing, where he was accused of kidnapping a coworker to obtain access to Londolozi’ s bank accounts, stealing cash and making off with a Discovey 4. The hearing could not be concluded and was postponed to this morning, Lowvelder reported.

During the proceedings, senior state advocate Isabet Erwee took him through the course of events: “On November 26, you applied for a firearm licence, which was approved on March 3. This was a month and two days before the heist. On March 26 you acquired a taser gun and returned to Londolozi on April 2, where your weapons were not cleared. You had a hunting knife, the taser and a gun in your possession, which you put in the cockpit of the small plane you had taken to Londolozi.”

Investigating officer Captain Leory Bruwer testified that Williams had obtained three black refuse bags from Londolozi’ s housekeeping on April 3 and also requested 750ml champagne, 750ml vodka as well as packaging tape.

The Discovery N4 that Wade Morgan Williams allegedly made off with. Pic: Supplied

The Discovery N4 that Wade Morgan Williams allegedly made off with. Pic: Supplied

Erwee then addressed the court on how Williams presumably put his plan into motion: “On April 4 after 20:00, you went to the room of Mr Dave Dampier (Williams’ colleague). With your newly licensed gun, you forced him to tie himself to a structural beam and held him there until the early hours of the morning. You threatened him and made sure that he gave you PIN codes and authorisation, enabling you to transfer R10 million from Londolozi into your bank account.”

The state claimed Williams also forced Dampier to drink the champagne and vodka with the hope that he would lose consciousness. “This way, it would have been easier to kill him. You then put a plastic bag over his head and used a blanket to suffocate him.”

According to the state, Williams left the lodge at 7am, dropped Dampier off next to the road and drove to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, where his plan was to flee to Kenya. He was not, however, able to purchase a ticket to Kenya and decided to drive to Johannesburg.

Money that Wade Morgan Williams allegedly stole. Pic: Supplied.

Money that Wade Morgan Williams allegedly stole. Pic: Supplied.

Investigating officer Bruwer testified that CCTV footage showed Williams frantically darting from one car hire company to the next. “All of them were closed, and he left.”

From there, the accused allegedly started his journey to Johannesburg. Meanwhile, Dampier had been found next to the road by employees of the reserve and was taken back to Londolozi. The authorities and vehicle-tracking company were alerted and by 8.30am, Williams was arrested near the Volvo garage on the R40 outside Mbombela.

The police found documents pertaining to Londolozi’ s finances in William’ s room. The case was postponed to May 6 for further investigation.

– Caxton News Service

 

02

today in print