Pretoria - The Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court sentenced a 31-year-old man for fraud and money laundering after he defrauded over 300 youths by promising them learnerships at his unregistered company.
Bongani Sibuyi was sentenced to three years in prison or a fine of R60 000, half of which was suspended.
Hawks Mpumalanga spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said Sibuyi started an entrepreneurship programme at the Bushbuckridge municipality, where he invited unemployed people to be part of the programme and charged them R250 each.
“The probe revealed that over the period between 2017 and 2018, he recruited unemployed youth from poor rural areas of Bushbuckridge to be part of a skills development learnership programme.
“More than 300 youths registered for the project and they were informed to pay an administration fee of R250 each into a company account,” said Sekgotodi.
Sekgotodi said Sibuyi promised his victims a stipend of R3500 a month.
“A few months after the commencement of the project, learners embarked on a strike due to non-payment of the stipend as promised and as such the programme could not proceed.”
According to Sekgotodi, It was found that the company was not registered with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
Moreover, it was also not accredited by the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta).
“The money deposited was not used for the purpose it was intended for. Subsequently, Sibuyi was arrested with his partner, who was cleared on all charges,” Sekgotodi said.