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Johannesburg - One claims to have made her first million by her late teens. The other is her lover, an illegal Tanzanian immigrant who allegedly obtained a South African ID fraudulently through a taxi marshal.
The third was voted best-dressed man by GQ magazine readers in 2011.
The three and a bank employee stand accused of defrauding WesBank of about R7 million.
Lerato Mahloane, her lover George Khanyile and Trevor Madondo are alleged to have used so-called double financing to defraud the bank with the help of bank employee Mlondi Khanyile.
Mahloane is the owner of MGT Motors, a motor dealership in Southdale, Joburg.
The three allegedly obtained finance from WesBank for non-existent vehicles and submitted fraudulent documents to the bank.
In cases where they got finance for existing vehicles, they would sell that vehicle, financed by WesBank, to a third party with finance received from another bank.
They would then not pay WesBank as they would have used fraudulent documents to obtain the finance in the first place, and the person who bought the vehicle would be responsible for repayments to the second bank.
According to court documents, two Porsches, five Land Rovers and two Mercedes Benzes are registered in Mahloane’s name.
Two BMWs, an Audi and a Porsche appear under Madondo’s name. A Land Rover was registered under Khanyile’s name.
Mlondi Khanyile’s job was to verify the authenticity of the documents before authorising the finance.
Madondo and Mahloane are co-founders of Quest Group, which deals with property, insurance and lifestyle.
The Quest website describes Mahloane as the company’s chief executive and a role-model who made her first million when she was 19 years old.
The website also states that she runs MG Trading, the most successful black female-owned car sales and salvage firm in the country. MG Trading buys top-of-the-range vehicles and sells them below market value.
Warrant Officer Petrus Motaung of the Joburg specialised commercial crime unit arrested Mahloane and George Khanyile on January 21 at OR Tambo International Airport as they were returning from New York.
Mahloane was granted R25 000 bail on the same day.
Madondo handed himself over four days ago and is out on R10 000 bail. Bail of R10 000 has also been granted to Mlondi Khanyile. WesBank has since suspended him.
On Wednesday, George Khanyile applied for bail in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court. His lawyer told the court he was not a flight risk and had very strong family ties in South Africa.
Prosecutor Richard Chabalala said Khanyile was in South Africa illegally. His real name was unknown because the taxi marshal, Smanga Khanyile, who had since died, had helped him obtain a fraudulent South African ID.
“If he could get into South Africa, what stops him from going to another country if granted bail and live off the proceeds of his crime?” Chabalala asked.
A ruling on the bail application is expected on March 19.