Former Fidenta executive chairman J Arthur Brown and his wife Susan have separated, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.
“We are separated emotionally, but I will always care about Susan,” Brown, 38, testified during a bail application before Magistrate Justhree Steyn.
Brown is in custody in the hospital section at Pollsmoor Prison, following his recent arrest for alleged embezzlement involving the Antheru Trust. He has launched a bail application.
Brown faces embezzlement charges relating to the investment company Fidentia, and the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA), for which he is on R1 million bail.
He is also on R5000 bail on similar charges involving the two investment concerns, Fundi and Infinity.
Whilst on bail, he was rearrested on similar charges involving the Antheru Trust.
His wife left South Africa for Australia earlier this year before a warrant for her arrest in the Antheru Trust case could be executed.
On Monday, Brown faced intense cross-examination by Scorpions prosecutors Bruce Morrison and Thersia du Toit.
When he said he and his wife had separated, Morrison asked Brown whether he meant that he and his wife were merely separated by distance.
Brown replied: “No, we are separated emotionally, but I will always care about Susan, and there is no acrimony between us.” He said he had been married to Susan for 13 years.
Morrison asked why he had so far had engaged four different attorneys – John Hunter, Rashad Khan, William Booth and Joe Weeber, before finally settling for Khan.
Brown said the four attorneys had acted for him either in civil matters or the criminal cases.
He said the Fidentia Group had been placed under curatorship in February, although he had wanted to oppose the application.
He told the court: “We did not have enough time to study the documentation. I was arrested in March, and the final curatorship order was granted only a few days after my release on bail.”
He said it had been impossible to focus on both his bail application at the time, and the curatorship proceedings simultaneously.
At Friday’s proceedings, he told how he had been “frog-marched” off the Fidentia premises.
On Monday, Morrison asked what he had meant by “frog-marched”. Brown replied: “I was told by one of the curators that I was tainted, and was no longer required at the office. “I was given five minutes to clear my office.” The hearing continues on Tuesday.