KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development employee among 7 nabbed over R3.9m fraud
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Durban: A Department of Agriculture and Rural Development employee has been granted R10 000 bail after allegedly committing fraud amounting to R3.9 million.
Sithembile Khumalo, 43, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on fraud, corruption and money laundering charges. The charges pertain to 11 contracts awarded by the department between 2015 and 2016.
Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said the accused allegedly connived with her colleagues and the service providers to defraud the department.
“They allegedly compiled orders and awarded… (contracts) to the service providers who were also well aware that no services would be rendered.
“Fraudulent documents and invoices were submitted as claims. As a result, the department suffered actual prejudice of approximately R3.9m.”
Mhlongo said a case of fraud was reported at Hilton SAPS and the case docket was allocated to the Hawks members from the Pietermaritzburg Serious Commercial Crime unit.
Six accused – Lethiwe Mbatha, 46, a former employee of the department, Slindelo Mbhele, 44, Msizi Mbense, 40, Fayers Mahlangu, 54,Princess Mthombeni, 47, and Patrick Mthombeni, 52 – were arrested in March 2021. They are all out on R10 000 bail.
All seven are due to appear in court on August 13.