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Travel agent sentenced for trying to swindle government department

Bathandwa Bazukile Ndyamara, 35, has been sentenced to six years direct imprisonment. Photo: Hawks

Bathandwa Bazukile Ndyamara, 35, has been sentenced to six years direct imprisonment. Photo: Hawks

Published Jul 27, 2022

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Cape Town - The East London Regional Court has sentenced Bathandwa Bazukile Ndyamara, 35, to six years direct imprisonment with no option of a fine on charges of fraud.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, Ndyamara tried swindling the Department of Education in Zwelitsha out of R2 million.

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Mgolodela said in July 2019, Ndyamara had a travelling agency called Siyawela Travelling, which was registered in the Basic Accounting System of Education and used to pay suppliers.

Ndyamara received a request for quotations via email where he was requested by the education department to seek accommodation for pupils and educators who were to attend workshops in the Mthatha, Gqeberha and Komani areas.

“He was directed to source quotations from Royal Lodge, which is reported to be in Queenstown, Bay Lodge in Gqeberha and Fairview Lodge in Mthatha.

“He then requested the quotations from the respective lodges and paid more than R2 million into the bank accounts reflected on the quotations as an endeavour to secure accommodation for the pupils and educators.

“Ndyamara submitted invoices to the Department of Education and was not paid because the department detected that request for quotes was a scam as the department had already paid for the same order numbers,” Mgolodela said.

She said this matter was immediately referred to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in East London to probe.

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The investigation led to Ndyamara’s arrest on December 21, 2021.

He was granted bail of R5 000 at the time but was convicted on fraud charges on May 10.

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