Former KPMG employee Fidelis Moema granted R50,000 bail after bursary fraud worth R16.5 million



Published Apr 19, 2024


Former KPMG bursary specialist, Fidelis Moema, was on Friday granted R50,000 bail by the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Moema was released along with his co-accused, businessman Trevor Machimane, and metro police officer Lebohang Sigubudu. They were also granted R50,000 bail.

Moema is accused of swindling his former employer to the tune of R16.5 million.

The accused facing charges of theft, fraud and money laundering, including 400 counts of fraud, and money laundering, for allegedly making payments from his former employer KPMG, to the accounts of his associates, including friends and former girlfriends, between 2021 to 2022, then transferring the money to his own account.

The State told the court that some of Moema’s ex-girlfriends had since state witnesses and would testify against him in the trial.

The 32-year-old Moema was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks), after he handed himself over to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crimes Investigation team in Johannesburg.

Last week, KPMG said it fired Moema in November 2022 after an internal disciplinary process. It opened criminal charges against him in February last year.

The company alleged that between 2021 and 2022, Moema diverted millions intended to sponsor the education of deserving students, to companies associated with his friends.

During the investigation, KPMG said that it identified that Moema was allegedly colluding with external parties and no other parties within the firm were identified.

Regarding approved bursaries, KPMG said they were not impacted and they have honoured all their commitments.

During his court appearance on Thursday, Moema’s lawyer told the court that Moema was employed by Nedbank where he is pocketing over R64,000 monthly.

An affidavit presented in court said the bank had suspended him and his employment contract was expected to end at the end of April.

The court heard he lives in Joburg, with his partner and their two-year-old child.

His lawyer said that Moema has no previous or pending criminal cases against him, and handed himself over to the police on Tuesday, April 4.

Moema, said that he intends not to plead guilty amid the charges levelled against him.

The other accused

Meanwhile, Machimane, a married father of one, told the court that he is currently self-employed at Dynamic Energy and he earns about R45,000 a month. Additionally, he said his wife, who works as a private investor executive earned R60,000 monthly.

Machimane was arrested last Thursday and he was charged with fraud and money laundering. He told the court he and his wife have about R500,000 worth of assets.

He also pleaded not guilty against the charges levelled against him, however, he admitted to the court that he has been close to Moema since 2017, as he was very keen in business.

Following that, Machimane disclosed that he kept contact with Moema, and later they got into business together.

The third accused, Sigubudu, a Tshwane Metro police officer is also accused of receiving money from the audit firm, KPMG and channelling it back to Moema, according to the State.

Sibundu told the court he could only afford R3,000 bail and that he needed to be released so he could support his family. He was granted R50,000 bail and has also pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against him.

The trio will be back in court on May 24.

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