JOHANNESBURG - A former magistrate on Thursday appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court for alleged fraud amounting to R5 million.

Magrieta Stoffelina Maria Botha, 55, was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Investigations, better known as the Hawks, in May 2017. 

She had opened a legal firm after quitting as court magistrate.

''She was arrested following a probe which uncovered fictitious garnishee orders which she allegedly authorised from various magistrates' offices, which included Nelspruit, Barberton, Malelane, Kabokweni and Tonga,''  spokeswoman Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said in a statement.

''Through her legal firm, she allegedly collected debts on behalf of a micro loan business. She prepared administration papers and various court orders and apparently forged signatures of clients of the said cash loan company, resulting in the payments unduly accumulating in her account.''

She is out on a warning and is expected back in court on July 2.

African News Agency/ANA