A Pretoria optometrist wants her 49-year-old brother – who once stole a light aircraft to “commit suicide” but then abandoned it on the N4 highway – declared a prodigal who is incapable of administering his own estate.
The High Court in Pretoria last week granted an order appointing an advocate to assist Stefan du Preez in the application by his sister, Deidre de Jongh. She also intends applying for the appointment of a permanent curator to handle her brother’s estate.
De Jongh, who is one of four siblings, said in court papers she was genuinely concerned about her brother’s future wellbeing as she did not believe he had the mental capacity to administer his estate.
Their mother died in February and the four siblings are about to inherit a considerable amount of money. She said her brother was not married, had no tertiary education and had a long, troubled history of poor interpersonal relationships, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse and homelessness.
In 2002, Du Preez took an aircraft at the Wonderboom Airport with the intention of committing suicide by crashing the plane, but came to his senses and landed on the N4, where he deserted it.
He was criminally charged, but all charges were later withdrawn. He was admitted to a clinic to recover from his alcohol addiction but discharged himself after only a few days.
De Jongh said her brother’s irresponsible, impulsive and careless lifestyle got worse over time, to a point where he could not hold a job longer than a few months and at times ended up being homeless.
He used to manipulate and in timidate their late mother to support him and would con people out of money and possessions to support his addictive and reckless lifestyle.
Du Preez had over the years been admitted to numerous treatment centres but always discharged himself.
De Jongh managed to find a place for him at a retirement home and believed that his inheritance could help him escape from his homeless squatter existence, but feared he would squander his inheritance in a very short period if an independent person did not take over his finances.