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Durban - Disgraced former KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge stepped into the dock of a court on Tuesday, preparing to face the music for alleged fraud relating to his having a fake matric certificate which he used to get a job in the police 25 years ago.
The monetary extent of the fraud was still unknown, prosecutor Barend Groen told Durban magistrate Vanitha Armu, because police were still calculating his earnings - including all allowances and housing subsidies - since he joined the police service in 1987.
“This is because he should never have been employed in the first place,” Groen said, and, apart from the fraud, he would probably be charged with forgery and uttering.
At the time of his resignation, his package was between R500 000 and R600 000 a year and investigators expected the amount involved in the case to be “many millions”.
The matter could also be referred to the Asset Forfeiture Unit which might try to recover the money from him.
News that Mdunge had resigned, after his fake credentials had been exposed during a national SAPS audit, broke late last month amid fears that, because of his popularity and links to the police management in the province, he might not be charged.
His attorney Johan Jooste confirmed on Tuesday that he had “co-operated fully” with the investigation and “he knows he has to face up to the music”.
“I wrote to the provincial commissioner offering our full co-operation. It was agreed with the investigating officer that he would hand himself over this morning and appear in court today.”
Mdunge, 48, who lives in Klaarwater, near Pinetown, spent a few hours in the cells below court, although his name was not on the list of detainees for Court 10 - the first appearance court for serious cases.
When he came up to court he was accompanied by two burly men - one who is reportedly a former police officer turned private investigator.
The hearing was brief.
Groen said he was not opposed to bail and Jooste confirmed that his client - a father of three adult children - was now unemployed and could afford to pay bail of only R5 000.
It was also agreed that he would hand his passport over to the investigating officer.
After the magistrate granted bail, Mdunge spoke for the first time, saying: “As the court pleases, your worship.”
He will appear in court again next month.