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Walk of faith Conman surfaces in Newcastle, KZN


Then - with his map


And now - with the map - altered in small ways.

In the February 2014 issue of THG, we featured the story of Jurie Pieters – a “terminally ill” Cape Town man who arrived in Waterval Boven and was taken in and given free board and lodging by a local businesswoman.  He related to THG at the time that he had embarked on a “Walk of Faith” after being diagnosed with an “inoperable brain tumour” and had, quite literally, decided to put his life “in the hands of his creator” and walk round South Africa for as long as he could. Admirable? Courageous? We thought so too - at the time.

As it turns out, and, as evidenced by our follow up “Lemon of the Month” piece in our March 2014 issue, Jurie turned out to be nothing of the sort. In fact, he proved to be nothing more than just another conman who subsequently stole whatever he could lay his hands on and promptly “did a bunk”. Information has subsequently reached THG that, thanks to our follow up feature that was read by residents and business people in nearby Alkmaar, our favourite conman was recognised there and quickly given his marching orders before he had a chance to swindle a few more kind-hearted folks. After (once again) doing another quick disappearing act, our favourite fraudster managed to throw us off his trail for a while. Until a recent phone call from KZN…

Kyle Cowan, a journalist for the “Newcastle Advertiser” called “out of the blue” recently to ask what we knew about Mr. Pieters and his exploits. It would seem that he had read the THG piece on the roaming swindler on-line at www.thehighveldgazette.co.za and wanted to compare notes. It turns out that Jurie Pieters had turned up in Newcastle and was, true to form, peddling the exact same story (and even posing for photographs with the exact same map – just with a few extra squiggles) to gain the sympathy of a fresh bunch of potential victims. Well, fortunately for the good people of Newcastle, forewarned is forearmed. Mr. Pieters’ lying seeds (hopefully) do not have much chance of finding fertile ground down in the “Last Outpost”. (Readers who are interested in reading the Newcastle Advertiser article should follow this link: http://newcastleadvertiser.co.za/26825/faith-walker-walk-away-wallet/ )

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