Port Elizabeth - Disgraced former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality communications director Roland Williams was sentenced to three years correctional supervision for insurance fraud, the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court ruled on Thursday.
Williams was sentenced after pleading guilty to falsely claiming R100 000 from his insurance company for an accident that never happened.
He was supported by his wife Shahnaz and his 15-year-old son who sat in court for the full duration of sentencing proceedings which lasted five hours.
The former communications boss, together with his co-accused V&R Motors, represented by widow Renika Rungan, pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in January this year.
Williams, along with Renika’s husband, Raven – who was shot dead in 2015 – defrauded Santam Limited through a combined insurance claim worth more than R115 000 in 2014. According to evidence before court, Rungan deliberately caused extensive damage to his BMW to put in a claim to defraud Santam after Williams experienced engine problems with his car.
Magistrate Lionel Lindoor said that although he believed Williams deserved direct imprisonment, he had to take into account the best interests of his four minor children.
He was sentenced to house arrest in the evenings during the week and 24 hour house arrest over non-working days.
Williams will also have to partake in 16 hour community service per month, contributing to cleaning and gardening services at the Kabega Park Police Station.
He was also ordered to pay a R30 000 fine by July 31.
In addition Williams was ordered to pay back Santam an amount of R96 000.
Lindoor said that he didn’t believe that Williams showed genuine remorse.
Lindoor said that Williams was not upfront about his personal finances and believed he earned more than R100 000 per month.
The court had heard that William’s current expenses amounted to R81 000 per month, of which he pays a R15 000 installment for his luxury vehicle and a R20 000 monthly bond repayment.
“Despite financial difficulty you have not done anything to improve your financial situation,” said Lindoor.
The court criticised Williams for luxury expenses such as DSTV and paying private school fees to the amount of R12 500 per month.
Other expenses included a R10 000 monthly grocery bill, R2000 for clothing and R5000 for other expenses Williams did not list.
Lindoor was of the view that Williams had a lot more money than he let on.
He said that he accepted that the family would financially and emotionally suffer if Williams as a caregiver was sent to jail.
African News Agency/ANA