Four employees of the Post Office in the Free State appeared in the Tseseng Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of fraud, money laundering, and the contravention of the Cyber Crime Act and Electronic Communication Transaction Act.
Matshediso Merriam Mokoena, 35, Ntswaki Chrestinah Sefako, 38, Mabuti Johannes Mbongo, 45, and Sabi Letta Mokwena, 58, from the Tsesenf Post Office were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks).
The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Warrant Officer Fikiswa Matoti said the Post Office suffered a loss of over R8.7 million.
“It is alleged that during the period between 2020 and 2022, the four accused working at the Tseseng Post Office and were responsible for performing transactions to assist Sassa beneficiaries to obtain their grants. The accused were issued with unique numbers which are not transferable.
“They inflated the amounts accounted for as entries on the system resulting in misappropriating the entity funds as valid amounts claimed to have been paid to the valid beneficiaries. The funds were instead transferred into the accused known bank accounts and their associates,” Matoti said.
The matter was referred to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit based in Bethlehem for further investigation.
“The investigations revealed the amounts that were transferred to the accused bank accounts. A total amount of about R324,950 was transferred to Mokoena’s bank account; R887,010 was transferred to Sefako’s bank account; R7,527,107was transferred to Mbongo’s bank account and R1,700 was transferred to Mokwena’s bank account. Tseseng Post Office was prejudiced and suffered a total loss of over R8.7 million in the process,” Matoti said.
The group made their first appearance on Thursday and the matter was rolled over for bail application on Friday, January 19.
Mokoena, Sefako and Mbongo were each granted a bail amount of R10,000, and Mokwena was granted R5,000 bail.
The case has been postponed until January 22.