Convicted Experian data fraudster fails to appear in court again

Karabo Phungula, yet again failed to appear in court, despite being in custody.

Karabo Phungula, yet again failed to appear in court, despite being in custody.

Published Mar 25, 2023


Rustenburg- Businessman, Karabo Phungula, who was convicted of illegally acquiring the personal and business data of millions of South Africans from Experian, yet again failed to appear in court for sentencing.

This is despite him being kept in custody so that he could attend court.

Phungula previously missed his sentencing proceeding on three occasions and forfeited his bail, following his arrest, he applied to be released on bail but he was refused bail.

He is held at the Johannesburg prison awaiting sentencing, he was expected to appear in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Friday, but was not brought to court.

According to News24 report, prosecutor advocate Phuti Matabane said Phungula had brought another bail application last week, he was again denied bail and the matter was postponed to Friday, for sentencing.

“I have prepared (State) witnesses to testify. Earlier today, I learnt from the court orderly that Phungula was not in court again.

“He is in the Johannesburg Prison. I have completed the requisition form for 28 March in the event he can't be released to come to court,” News24 quoted Matabane as saying.

The investigating officer went to Johannesburg Prison to enquire why Phungula was not brought to court, prison officials explained that they could not release him at midday and they had to return him to the cells and conduct their regular counting.

He was brought late to a section where they are kept before leaving for court.

“We have resolved that to avoid him not coming, the investigating officer will personally bring him to court. That would be safer, faster, and would not consume the court’s time,” News24 reported.

Phungula was convicted of fraud and theft in October last year.

The state charged that Phungula not only fraudulently obtained the data but also planned to sell it for over R4 million.

Experian handed over the data of over 23 million people and nearly 800 000 businesses to Phungula, who impersonated a businessman who was authorised to have the information.

Experian detected the breach on 22 July, more than 50 days after the data had already been transferred.

Phungula was was arrested on March 13 after the court issued a warrant of his arrest on March 1 for skipping court for sentencing.