Bogus teachers couple convicted for R1m fraud in Mpumalanga
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Johannesburg - A Mpumalanga couple who used fraudulent documents to secure teaching posts in the province have been sentenced to six years imprisonment at the Nelspruit Commercial Crimes Court.
The Hawks in Mpumalanga commenced their investigation into the couple, Lindokuhle and Bongisipho Mthembu, when they received a tip-off from a whistleblower around November 2016.
The convicted fraudsters resigned from their jobs at primary schools around November 2016 and they were subsequently arrested two years later in August 2018. Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said the couple's six-year jail sentence was wholly suspended for five years.
“The accused were each sentenced to six years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that they are not found guilty of fraud during the period of suspension,” she said.
Regarding the crime they were convicted for, Sekgotodi said the couple were convicted of fraud to the tune of R1 million.
“In 2007, Lindokuhle submitted fraudulent qualifications for a primary teacher’s post and she was employed at Maphala Gulube Primary School and the Department of Education suffered an actual loss of R584 815.78.
“Three years later, she recruited Bongisipho who also submitted fraudulent qualifications and was also employed at the same school.
“He was later transferred to another primary school and the department suffered an actual loss of another R584 815.78.
“The whistle-blower reported the information to the department and an audit was conducted whereby teachers were required to submit original qualification certificates but the couple did not submit,” said Sekgotodi.