Digital Vibes project manager Lizeka Tonjeni found guilty of accepting R160,000 bribe



Published May 24, 2024


A Former Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) employee, Lizeka Tonjeni, has been found guilty of accepting a R160 000 bribe while she was a project manager of Digital Vibes communications agency.

The crime occurred when the 49-year-old was appointed by MISA to manage a contract worth nearly R4 million, which was awarded to Digital Vibes in 2018.

“From December 2018 until August 2020, while Tonjeni was still a project manager, she received payments of R160 000.00 that were not authorised and due to her, from Digital Vibes,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana.

Mahanjana said Tonjeni was arrested after she handed herself over to the police at the Pretoria Central Police Station on May 24, 2022.

She was released on R5,000 bail.

In court, Tonjeni pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied receiving fraudulent payments from Digital Vibes.

She testified that the payments received from Digital Vibes director, Tahera Mather, were payments for weight loss and energy booster products that she was selling and she still owes the director R85,000 because she was unable to deliver some of the products and pay back the money.

Mahanjana added that the State called witnesses employed at MISA who gave evidence which proved that Tonjeni was guilty of the charges preferred against her.

Magistrate Nicola Setshoege, who was presiding over the matter in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, found Tonjeni’s the evidence to be untrue and dishonest.

“Therefore, she found that the State was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. After the judgment, Tonjeni brought an application to have her bail extended.”

Mahanjana said Tonjeni’s application was dismissed because she failed to comply with her bail conditions.

“She travelled and moved to the Eastern Cape without notifying the investigating officer and applied for a new passport while her bail conditions prohibited her from doing so.”

The matter was postponed to June 6, 2024 for sentencing.

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