Three suspects between the ages of 34 and 54 were arrested in Bloemfontein and Bethlehem on Thursday by the Free State Hawks’ Serious Corruption investigation team.
THREE people accused of hatching an elaborate plan to fleece a Free State municipality out of hundreds of thousands of rands have been arrested.
The trio, Seipati Mavis Mabula, Rerang Nchabane and Nkosi Patrice Mondi appeared in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court and were released on R5,000 bail each.
Hawks spokesperson, Captain Christopher Singo said the accused were arrested in Bloemfontein and Bethlehem on Thursday by officers from the Free State Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation unit.
“Between January 2020 and December 2021, Nchabane worked as a ghost worker as a contract worker, receiving a monthly salary of R12,000. During the internal audit process undertaken by the municipality, the suspect was called in to sign attendance registers for the duration of his employment within the municipality,” Singo explained.
He said Mondi was the former director of Local Economic Development and supervised Nchabane. Nchabane then allegedly instructed his subordinate to create an attendance register for the ghost employee as if he was at all times reporting on duty.
Singo said it is further alleged that Mabula, who worked as director of Corporate Services and was an acting Municipal Manager at that time, was present when her colleague, Nchabane instructed his subordinate to create an attendance register.
“She also signed the contract of the ghost employee. As a result of these fraudulent activities, the municipality was prejudiced and suffered a total loss of more than R290,000,” Singo stated.
He said the investigation team acted on information supplied and the trio, aged between 34 and 54, were arrested.
They face charges of fraud, theft and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 121 of 1998 (POCA).