MY NAME is George Kolbe, aged 46. I have lived in George since 1995 and have never lived or worked in Grahamstown or Port Elizabeth, nor done business with Kobus Viljoen.
I have never been charged by any Port Elizabeth investigator, nor have I ever appeared in a Port Elizabeth or Grahamstown court. My "extensive businesses, property interests and vehicles" have definitely not been "frozen pending criminal prosecution following the collapse of a R12.8-million pyramid scheme".
Since February 19 I have corresponded with the writer of the article in The Herald by telephone and e-mail and was assured that an article correcting the wrong allegations would be published.
Nothing has happened. A malicious client has published articles online, based on the information in your newspaper. A case of defamation of character seems unavoidable.
I am the only George Kolbe in George with business interests. I work for an international company and have been inundated by calls from colleagues who read the articles. My position in the company could be influenced negatively.
This letter relates to a report published in The Herald last year. According to court papers a businessman named George Kolbe, with an address in George, was targeted by the Asset Forfeiture Unit and also appeared in the Commercial Crimes Court with two co-accused. At the time we published a letter by another George Kolbe, who is not involved, making it clear that it is a common family name. We wish to emphasise that there are no wrong allegations in the report. A disgruntled client of Kolbe has assumed, without proof, that he is one of the accused in this matter and The Herald is now unfairly drawn into this dispute. We have assured Kolbe that he would get an opportunity to clarify that he was not the person referred to in the article as soon as a follow-up story was done. – Estelle Ellis