02/17/2016 Former head of the Gauteng Hawks, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya has been charged with 5 counts of fraud amounting to R24000. Picture : Simone Kley

Johannesburg - Major-General Shadrack Sibiya, former head of the Gauteng Hawks, was acquitted of fraud in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Sibiya was arrested in February this year and charged with five counts of fraud for claiming more than R24 000 in travel expenses from his former employer.

Sibiya claimed the money for expenses he incurred while using his private vehicle for official duties. But the claims he submitted were for a BMW X6, five months before he had bought the car.

In a trial that lasted less than an hour, Sibiya’s lawyer, Naomi Manaka, referred to investigating officer Colonel Makasela Benny Nkuna, as being part of a “SibiyaMustFall task team”.

In his testimony, Nkuna said Sibiya had bought the BMW at the end of June 2012. But his petrol claim for the vehicle started in February that year.

Manaka asked him what vehicle Sibiya was driving instead. Nkuna did not know.

She revealed it was a Porsche Cayenne SUV, which has a 4.8-litre engine. The BMW had an engine size of 4.4 litres.

“The Porsche had a bigger engine, so if he had put in a claim for the Porsche, it would have cost the state more money,” Manaka said.

Sibiya took the stand and said he had bought a Porsche Cayenne, but he did not know the car had no service plan.

He took it for a service and got a bill for R30 000. He complained to the dealer and they loaned him the BMW X6 from April 2012, which he officially bought a few months later.

“He was entitled to claim for petrol,” magistrate Simon Radasi said. He dismissed all the charges.

Sibiya will appear before the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council in June to try to get back his top position in the Hawks.

He was fired last year after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of playing a part in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans between November 2010 and January 2011.

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The Star