Durban — Five people accused of fraud and corruption have been jailed for R18 million late estate.
The Durban Regional Court sentenced Nkosinathi Mthembu, 49, Msawenkosi Cele, 36, Raessa Pillay, 37, Ismail Ally, 37, and Sphephelo Mpanza, 35, for fraud and corruption relating to millions of late estate account.
KwaZulu-Natal Hawks spokesperson Captain Bonnie Nxumalo said that in May 2015, Mthembu, Cele, Pillay, Ally and Mpanza entered a bank in Durban North where they requested to withdraw cash from the late estate account which had R18m.
She said when the bank officials discovered fraudulent acts, the team of the Hawks and Crime Intelligence arrested and charged the suspects.
Nxumalo said the matter was assigned to the Durban Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team which ensured that the accused faced the full might of the law.
“The accused persons; Mthembu, Cele and Pillay were each sentenced to six years direct imprisonment for corruption and two years imprisonment for fraud. Whereas Ally and Mpanza received six-year suspended sentences,” Nxumalo said.
In an unrelated incident, in July 2022, a woman went to the Master of the High Court to register a claim for her late son, but she was perplexed when she was told that her son’s R700 000 estate had already been successfully claimed by a person who masqueraded as his biological father.
The matter was reported to the police and after several months of investigations, police arrested four suspects on August 18.
Zinhle Msomi, 42, Lorraine Ndlovu, 44, Zanele Hlengwa, 45, and Nkosinathi Moya, 62, were arrested in Durban and remanded in custody when they made their first appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on August 18.
“Investigations revealed that the culprits would submit fictitious documents to the Master of the High Court and sought a letter of authority so that they could fraudulently claim the deceased person’s estate,” KZN police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said at the time.
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