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R103m Absa fraud case: Case withdrawn against slain IT specialist as State recoups R66 million

Athembile Mpani and co-accused Gershom Matomane appearing in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court for the R103 million Absa fraud case. Photo: National Prosecuting Authority

Athembile Mpani and co-accused Gershom Matomane appearing in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court for the R103 million Absa fraud case. Photo: National Prosecuting Authority

Published Mar 15, 2022

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Pretoria – The case against slain Absa specialist engineer Xolela Masebeni, 30, was withdrawn after a death certificate was presented in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

Masebeni, who made headlines after being arrested for allegedly defrauding Absa bank of more than R100 million within the space of four months, was shot and killed last month.

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National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Gauteng, Phindi Mjonondwane said Masebeni's girlfriend, Athembile Mpani 20, with Gershom Matomane, 29, who was added to the charge sheet on Monday, are the remaining accused persons in the matter.

“They are facing charges of fraud and money laundering, following allegations of defrauding ABSA Bank R103m between September to December 2021. It is alleged that a sum of R59m was deposited into Matomane’s bank account,” Mjonondwane said.

Matomane is out on R30 000 bail granted by the Bellville Magistrates' Court, Western Cape, for the case which is before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

Matomane has a pending case in Bellville, for allegedly defrauding Capitec Bank, with five other persons, money to the tune of R3.4m.

“The alleged fraudulent transactions were uncovered by Absa’s forensic division, and they reported the matter to the law enforcement authorities,” Mjonondwane said.

“Their investigation alleges that Masebeni accessed a Meridian system to debit the corporate business account. He was arrested by the Hawks in Queenstown on 19 January 2022 and appeared in the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court the next day.”

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Athembile Mpani and co-accused Gershom Matomane have appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court for allegedly defrauding Absa of 103m. Picture Dylan Jacobs/African News Agency(ANA)

The case was then transferred to the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng as the crime allegedly happened in Sandton – an area within the court’s jurisdiction.

Mjonondwane said the State has so far managed to recover R66m and is in the process of seizing three vehicles that were allegedly purchased using the fraudulent money.

The case was postponed to May 12, for further investigations. The NPA said more arrests are imminent.

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Related Topics:

NPACrime and courts

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