Pay back the money: Eskom employees lose pension payouts, and cars after R2.6 million fraud backfires

Money in a bag with a hand touching it

Two Eskom former employees have lost their pension payouts, and vehicles after the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court issued a restraining order against them following fraud of almost R3 million. File Photo: SAPS

Published Aug 17, 2023

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The Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court has issued a restraining order against former Eskom employees and their relatives after they allegedly defrauded Eskom of close to R3 million.

Mpumalanga spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, said the order was gratified against Nwabisa Ngxola, Cinderella Moropane, Edward Moropane, and Jeffrey Moropane.

It is alleged that during the period between March 2012 and May 2013, Ngxola and Cinderella Moropane were employed at Eskom. The former was responsible for capturing payments and invoices, while the latter was a project coordinator.

Sekgotodi said during that period, a company called Mandla Power Lines had a contract with Eskom, and when the contract expired, Ngxola and Cinderella approached the company.

Two Eskom former employees have lost their pension payouts, and vehicles after the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court issued a restraining order against them following fraud of almost R3 million. File Photo: SAPS

"They informed (the company) to continue invoicing Eskom despite it not having done any work. Mandla Power Lines was told to transfer the funds into Chimanzi Investments after getting payment from Eskom," said Sekgotodi.

Fraudulent invoices were therefore submitted to Eskom for payment for work not done.

Chimanzi Investments belonged to businessman Michael Chimanzi who was a boyfriend of Cinderella.

"After the payments were made, monies were then transferred to the bank account of Edward Moropane, who is Cinderella’s father, and to the account of her brother, Jeffrey Moropane," said Sekgotodi.

"The total monies transferred to the above individuals equalled R2,600,000."

The Hawks listed the assets that have been frozen as follows:

A pension payout benefit for Nwabisa Ngxola. The amount is not known.

Ngxola’s 2017 model Mini Cooper Countryman

Cinderella’s pension payout has been frozen. The amount is unknown.

A 2001 Nissan Almera.

The court froze Edward Moropane’s stand at Kanyamazane township, his 2011 GWM Steed single-cab bakkie, and another GWM Steed 5 single cab bakkie.

The court also froze Jeffrey Moropane’s vehicle, a 1996 Toyota Corolla.

The matter was postponed to October 6 for consideration of confiscation.

The cases against Edward Moropane and his son Jeffrey were withdrawn during trial.

"They were only issued with restrain orders for the assets which were proceeds of crime," said Sekgotodi.

"There were no assets found from Michael Chimazi, though he was sentenced on March 1 to eight years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty and convicted for similar offences during the period of suspension."

Sekgotodi said Ngxola was found guilty by the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court on May 3.

"She was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for 16 counts of fraud. A further seven years imprisonment for 39 counts of corruption and another seven years imprisonment for 48 counts of money laundering were imposed on the accused (Ngxola)," said Sekgotodi.

The court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently; therefore, Ngxola is serving 10 years of direct imprisonment without the option of a fine.

The case against Cinderella Moropane was postponed to August 31 for sentencing.

Meanwhile, the provincial head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Nicholas Gerber, has applauded the investigating team and the prosecutors for securing the verdict imposed on the "criminal group".

"This is a good example for those who want to feel by the skin first. Pay back the money. These are the public servants’ monies, which they earn hard," said Gerber.

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