A KwaZulu-Natal scheme fraudulently offering cut-price 4x4s has ended in convictions for two women in the Pinetown Regional Court.

A KwaZulu-Natal scheme fraudulently offering cut-price 4x4s has ended in convictions for two women in the Pinetown Regional Court.

The reported that Rhoda Venter was found guilty on 121 counts of "carrying on the business of a close corporation recklessly". Her partner, Lorraine Palmer, was found guilty on three charges of fraud. The state withdrew charges of fraud and alternatively theft against Venter.

The two women were selling discounted 4x4s to employees of a retail group on condition they paid upfront. They claimed that because of the merger between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi, a number of Pajero vehicles were available at reduced prices. New Mitsubishi Pajeros were being offered for about half of their retail price, of between R160 000 and R300 000.

The newspaper reported that 165 people paid the women's company R23 million for vehicles. Only 67 vehicles were delivered, mostly to family and friends of Venter and Palmer. They were arrested in October last year.

According to the court documents, clients who received vehicles will now have to pay the difference between the price they paid and the real purchase price. Those who did not receive vehicles will likely lose part of the money they have paid, if not the whole amount.

Venter and Palmer will be sentenced on March 24.