Two men arrested in Durban over R17 million fraud allegations at the justice department

Handcuffs and fingerprint record sheets, closeup. Criminal investigation

Handcuffs and fingerprint record sheets, closeup. Criminal investigation

Published Feb 20, 2024


Two men are expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning in connection with fraud amounting to R17 million.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (known as the Hawks), the duo, aged 31 and 43, were arrested on Monday in Durban.

The suspects, who allegedly have businesses in their name, also face a charge of money laundering.

Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said the alleged fraud took place at the justice and constitutional development department offices in Pietermaritzburg on April 6, 2023.

“It is alleged fraudulent payments were made from the Department of Justice banking system to businesses that were not entitled to receive the funds,” Mhlongo said

“An amount of R17,782,132.59 was fraudulently transferred from the Guardian Fund held by the department.”

Mhlongo said a case of fraud was reported at Pietermaritzburg police station and the case docket was allocated to the Hawks for an intensive investigation.

“Hawks members worked together with the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit and Financial Intelligence Centre to recover more that R8 million of stolen funds.”

Mhlongo said more arrests were expected.

The KwaZulu-Natal Hawks Head, Major General Lesetja Senona welcomed the arrest of the suspects and applauded the members for the good work.

Earlier this month, an Eastern Cape government employee found guilty of fraud and money laundering, was ordered to pay back the money using her pension fund.

Zukiswa Wana, 52, was convicted in the East London Regional Court, for a crime she committed almost 14 years ago.

She was found guilty of fraud exceeding R800,000 and was ordered to pay back R400,000 or face five years in jail.

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