Rustenburg - A former chief financial officer was sentenced to six years imprisonment for fraud and money laundering in the Eastern Cape, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) said.
Spokesperson Warrant Officer Bonnie Nxumalo said Gcobani Mntumni, 36, was sentenced on Monday at the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
"Mntumni, who was a financial officer at the Mbhashe municipality, added bank accounts belonging to his siblings and friends into the municipality payroll. The municipality paid the ghost employees, and the fraudulent activities were discovered in March 2015. The municipality suffered a total loss of more than R304 000-00.
"The matter was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation based in Mthatha for investigation. A warrant for Mntumni’s arrest was issued by court and, he was immediately arrested. His brothers and a friend were also arrested, and the charges against them were later withdrawn," Nxumalo said.
Mntumni was released on bail in March 2015. He pleaded guilty on February 23 in 2022 after numerous court appearances.
"He was sentenced yesterday (Monday) to 10 years imprisonment, and four years of his sentence were suspended."
In a separate case, Nxumalo said the East London Regional Court sentenced director, Chidozi Aloysius Ogbona, 41, his entity, Divinewatch Protection and Cleaning Services CC and a salesperson, Anele Lahle, 36, for fraud that happened between 2006 and 2009.
"The entity was awarded tenders at a university in Walter Sisulu and Eastern Cape Development Corporation. The invoices and Value Added Tax (VAT) were submitted for services rendered. The accused failed to disclose to South African Revenue Services that they claimed VAT for an amount of more than R842 000.
"The accused were arrested and charged for numerous counts of fraud. Ogbona was sentenced to five years imprisonment with an option of R100 000 fine, whereas Lahle received a five-year sentence with an option of a R50 000 fine. An entity was fined R160 000. Ogbona and Lahle further received five year-suspended sentences."
In the Free State, the Hawks said Tshidiso James Mothapo, 43, was convicted at the Bethlehem Magistrates’ Court on Monday for contravening the Tax Administration Act.
"A preliminary probe by the South African Revenue Services uncovered Mothapo’s fraudulent activities that cost the South Africa Revenue Services in excess of than R500 000 between the period of 2011 and 2014.
"The matter was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Bethlehem. Mothapo was served with summons on 15 April 2021. He appeared in court on several occasions culminating in his recent conviction," said Hawks spokesperson in Free State, Captain Christopher Singo.
He said Mothapo was sentenced to five years imprisonment wholly suspended on condition that he repay SARS the amount of R500 000-00 on a monthly instalment of more than R1000-00 until the whole amount is fully paid.