Home South African Suspended sentence for teacher who fraudulently pocketed R400k from government

Suspended sentence for teacher who fraudulently pocketed R400k from government

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While working as a teacher, Refilwe Maphuthi Molepo received more than R400,000 as director of her own company that was rendering services to the Limpopo Education Department.

Maphuthi Refilwe Molepo was sentenced to a wholly suspended sentence after she pleaded guilty to defrauding the Limpopo Department of Education. Picture: Hawks

A 52-YEAR-old teacher employed by the Limpopo Education Department was sentenced to pay a R60,000 fine or five years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years for fraud, by the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Refilwe Maphuthi Molepo was sentenced on Friday after she pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud and contravention of the Public Service Act.

“During April 2012, a forensic investigator attached to the Polokwane-based Special Investigating Unit (SIU) received a proclamation for the investigation of serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of unlawful conduct by an official of the Limpopo Department of Education,” said Warrant Officer Lethunya Mmuroa, Limpopo spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks.

Between April 2010 and August 2012, the Hawks said Molepo acted in the capacity of director of her own company and rendered services to the department.

“As a result, she received payment amounting to over R430,000 without authority or disclosing that she was doing remunerative work outside of public service.”

The matter was handed to the Polokwane-based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Investigation for further handling.

Molepo was traced and arrested in October 2023.

“The case was given serious attention until the accused (Molepo) pleaded guilty and sentenced accordingly,” said Mmuroa.

Meanwhile, the acting provincial head of the Hawks in Limpopo province, Brigadier Desmond Alexander, has saluted the “wonderful working relationship” between the Special Investigating Unit, the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority for their efforts in ensuring a successful prosecution.

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