GUY Hill, the Knysna developer who stood accused of defrauding his mother's construction company out of millions of rands, was acquitted of all 49 charges in the Knysna Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The saga, which has caused Hill's mother Betty and father Bob to become estranged from their son, had taken more than seven years to be resolved.
Magistrate Denise Oberholzer ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case and she had to give the benefit of the doubt to Hill.
The state had alleged Hill used falsified documents to obtain a bond in the name of Hill-Pro, Betty's company, to buy a luxury Knysna property which he later sold for R4.76-million.
He was twice granted bonds by Standard Bank and First National Bank for about R2.6-million. The state argued that Hill had used forged documents, signing his mother's name as well as the names of the company's accountant and auditor, for this purpose.
The state also alleged that he had stolen R1.75- million using a Hill-Pro cheque issued to a company he had set up.
He faced 49 counts of fraud, uttering and theft.
Hill's legal representative Eckert Brand said yesterday the crux of the matter was that his client was authorised to oversee the dealings of the company.
"There were other charges that he stole a car, that were dismissed as nonsense. The other charges of uttering and theft should have been brought into the main charge. There should not have been so many charges."
In Oberholzer's ruling she found that the evidence of Bob and Betty Hill also contradicted that of the company's auditors, which corroborated Hill's evidence.
"The fact is that even if there were other discrepancies, he [Hill] had been given the mandate to run the company's business and sign off on agreements. We could not have wished for a better result," Brand said. Guy Hill was relieved the ordeal was over. However, Bob Hill said he did not believe justice had been served.