Port Elizabeth - Portia Sizani, wife of South Africa’s ambassador to Germany and former African National Congress Chief Whip Stone Sizani, was found guilty of 15 counts of fraud and nine counts of money laundering in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.
Sizani defrauded the Eastern Cape education department out of more than R1.2 million by processing several fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts.
Sizani was the Early Childhood Development (ECD) district co-ordinator at the time she appointed “ghost teachers” and pocketed their pay during 2009 and 2010.
Magistrate Mputumi Mpofu said that Sizani was the “mastermind” and used vulnerable people with the promise of giving them jobs at the department.
Mpofu said that Sizani took advantage of clueless victims and harassed them to pay over monies to her. Mpofu criticized Sizani in that her defence did not go further than mere denial.