Three Absa employees jailed for 15 years for R190m JSE fraud

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 13, 2023


Pretoria - The trio found guilty of defrauding the JSE have been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment each.

Prudence Ramakgole, 34, Seatile Pauline Senoamadi, 44, and Motsiri Peter Ramahlarerwa, 58, appeared before the Mokopane Regional Court yesterday. The trio were accused of siphoning R190 million.

During the trial, the court heard how the syndicate operated in their capacity as Absa employees in Limpopo and Gauteng when they accessed the portfolios of JSE Trustees and Samancor Foundation without authorisation.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mashudu Malabo- Dzhangi said they had misrepresented Absa and Samancor.

“On July 26, 2019, near Lephalale, the accused unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud and misrepresent to Samancor Foundation or Absa that they were authorised to transfer an amount of R2.9m, made changes to the JSE’s banking portfolio and added their own.

“On August 12, 2019, a transfer of R30m was made from Samancor Foundation, and on September 23, 2019, an overall amount of over R158m,” Malabo-Dzhangi said.

In mitigation of sentence, the defence lawyer of the accused submitted that the court should depart from the prescribed minimum sentence as the accused were first-time offenders and they had shown remorse.

In aggravation of sentence, State advocate Sammy Mogoshi submitted that the accused committed a serious offence, which involved different role-players, and this was an indication that they did not respect the law.

Mogoshi told the court that fraud posed a serious threat to the economy and democratic state, and cases of this nature were of national concern.

He said there was a huge cry from society that the courts must address fraud by imposing appropriate sentences.

He further submitted that the court should impose a custodial sentence to deter the accused and other would-be offenders from committing crimes of this nature.

Absa had to reimburse the JSE and Samancor Foundation a joint amount of R191 108 910.46.

The court agreed with the State that fraud as a white-collar crime was a national concern, and the only appropriate sentence was jail time.

The court sentenced them to 15 years’ imprisonment each.

Malabo-Dzhangi welcomed the sentence and said it would deter other would-be offenders from committing such crimes, and further restore confidence in the justice system.

The Limpopo Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Ivy Thenga, congratulated Mogoshi and Captain Herman Els from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation for their sterling work.

Pretoria News