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Pretoria - Physiotherapist Jurry Sehunoe was given a five-year suspended jail sentence on Monday for defrauding the labour department, the department said.
Sehunoe, 34, of Rustenburg, in the North West, pleaded guilty in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in October 2011 to 15 counts of fraud and 26 of money-laundering.
Magistrate Nica Setshogoe deviated from imposing the minimum sentence of 15 years because Sehunoe was a first-time offender.
He had admitted guilt, co-operated with the authorities and was his family's sole bread-winner, the department said in a statement.
He would be under correctional services supervision for three years, and had to perform 16 hours of community service a month.
He was also ordered to undergo programmes on self-conduct, problem-solving, responsible behaviour, psychology, and financial management. He was instructed to timeously inform the authorities when leaving his area of residence, and not to consume alcohol and drugs.
He defrauded the department's compensation fund of about R2.1 million.
Sehunoe was allegedly recruited by members of a syndicate, which included former employees of the fund. It processed fictitious claims, and distributed the proceeds among its members.
The case against two other accused in the case, Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng, both former labour department employees, had been transferred to the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.
They have pleaded not guilty and are out on bail of R3000 each. - Sapa