ANC flag. Picture: Reuters
A former ANC employee has been jailed for five years for embezzling more than R350 000 from the governing party.

Precious Dube, 31, was convicted of 52 counts of fraud. On Friday, at the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court, she was also given a suspended sentence of four years for 52 counts of money laundering.

Dube falsified bank statements and invoices to divert money into her account while a data capturer in the finance department at the ANC’s provincial branch office.

From January 2011 to October 2013, Dube falsified 52 invoices, totalling R1 524 447.45.

She changed the bank details of service providers to reflect a larger amount than charged. The ANC would pay the money into her account and Dube would pay the service providers and keep the balance.

Dube was caught after a financial audit. She admitted guilt when confronted with the evidence.

Magistrate Garth Davis said Dube’s guilty plea was not a convincing mitigating factor.

“I accept that there is a degree of remorse - she testified she apologised to her employer - but one cannot lose sight of the fact that she had 33 months and 52 occasions to reconsider,” he said. “Her contrition seems to have fully taken effect when the game was up.”

It was revealed in court papers that the ANC forgave Dube and wanted to drop the charges, but the State prosecutor refused.

The ANC offered to hire Dube back at a salary of R15 000 a month so she could use some of it to pay back some of the money she stole.

Davis scoffed at the idea, saying the ANC was treating fraud like “an interest-free loan”.

Dube, a single mother with a 7-year-old child, was sobbing as she was led down to the holding cells.

Independent On Saturday