Company directors sentenced for defrauding the department of education millions of Rands
The Nelspruit Regional Court has on Friday, 27 September, convicted and sentenced three accused for defrauding the department of education of R 5.5 Million.
The convicted trio; Musawenkosi Caldon Sigasa (47), Jabulile Gladys Gaarekoe (80) and Thabang Nathaniel Gaarekoe (52), who are co-directors of Gauwes Waste Trading and Hlonise Homes Trading, connived and fraudulently received the said money in a period covering the month from August to September 2009. The two companies were not registered with the department nor rendered any service to the department. They were used as a front to defraud the department.
The court has sentenced Sigasa to 12 years imprisonment of which four years is suspended for a period of five years. Gaarekoe was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment wholly suspended for a period of five years whilst Thabang Nathaniel Gaarekoe was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment of which four years is suspended for five years.
The Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, has applauded the investigating team, prosecution team and Judiciary for the successful prosecution.
Response to media reports on police van used unlawfully
Police in Mpumalanga are concerned about negative media reports apparently stemming from a video circulating on social media circles wherein a marked police vehicle is seen used to dump waste material reportedly at an illegal dumping site.
Police did not waste time in probing this disturbing phenomenon and have so far established the following:
- The vehicle had been outsourced to a private panel beating company after it was involved in a collision earlier on and taken to the state garage.
- The state garage outsourced the vehicle to the private company as is normal practice. It is then when it was used by people from the private company to dump litter as seen on the video.
When the video came to light, police speedily investigated the matter and discovered that the vehicle was allegedly used unlawfully or without consent. It is against this background that the police registered a case docket of using a vehicle without the owner’s consent. The vehicle has since been fixed and was returned to the state-owned garage.
Murderer slammed with a hefty life term sentence
Stanley Sibiya (37) appeared at the Mpumalanga High Court for sentencing on charges of murder and armed robbery on 4 October.
He was found guilty and sentenced to life term imprisonment for Murder and a further 15 years imprisonment for Armed Robbery. The sentences are said to run concurrently.
Sibiya was linked through further investigation by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team following a fatal car hijacking on the night of 25 November 2016.
He accosted Mr. Jerry Zacharia Theledi (63) whilst entering the driveway at his home in the Marite trust, Mpumalanga. He demanded the car keys of a silver jaguar and his demands were met with resistance. He resorted to shooting and killing Theledi before he fled the scene with the vehicle, a cell phone and a wallet of the deceased. The vehicle was recovered abandoned at the Tshabalala trust the following day.
A joint intelligence tracing operation was conducted by the Hawks with Witbank TRT which led to his arrest in Middelburg on 20 July 2017. When he was arrested, he was in possession of fifty rounds of live ammunition.
The Hawks’ further investigated and the investigation revealed that Sibiya was on parole at the time of his arrest and the murder incident. He had been previously sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for a brutal murder of his one-year old daughter on 29 March 2005.
The Hawks Provincial Head in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, applauded the investigating team, the prosecution and the Judge for removing hardened criminals who are posing a danger to the community.
Company bookkeeper and her family members arrested for R 11.5 million fraud
Four suspects Lucy Andrea Du Pree (50), John Avent (53), Piet Albertus Meintjies (36) and Maria Antoinette Le Roux (49) were arrested by members of the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit on Thursday, 3 October for Fraud and Theft under the Prevention of the Organised Crime Act which is linked with a case that happened in May 2016 whereby the main accused Carol Ann Avent (46), who was employed at Transco CC in Nelspruit, created false beneficiaries and paid the money from the company into different accounts of her family members during the period between 2010 and 2016.
The accused was arrested in 2016, charged on 1150 counts of Fraud and she was released on R5000.00 bail. The accused pleaded guilty and was found guilty as charged. The matter was postponed on 12 December 2018 at Nelspruit Regional Court.
The four above mentioned suspects were arrested and charged on 3 October for receiving the stolen money into their personal bank accounts and taken to Nelspruit Magistrate Court for the first appearance while Carol Ann Avent appeared in Nelspruit Regional Court for submitting a confiscating order by the Advocate and the case is postponed to 5 November for the specialised Prosecutor.
The case of the four suspects was postponed for adding additional accused who also received the stolen money until 5 November. All four accused were released on R3000.00 bail each.
Police looking for man who allegedly killed and buried woman in shallow grave
Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) at Pienaar near Nelspruit, are looking for a man responsible for the murder and burial of a young woman in a shallow grave. The victim’s body was exhumed on 5 October.
It is alleged that the woman, who is believed to be 17-years-old, was last seen on 28 September after she visited Mpumalanga with a boyfriend.
The discovery of the body came after police were informed by the community that they (community) spotted a shoe protruding from the ground. What caused the community to engage into a search that led to this gruesome discovery, was the reason that the boyfriend, who was reported to have brought the victim to Mpumalanga, was seen digging a hole next to the toilet after the mysterious disappearance of the victim.
The boyfriend supposedly left for work back to Gauteng. Family and neighbours became suspicious and went to check the hole where after they made the aforesaid discovery and reported the matter to the police.
Police proceeded to the scene, with all other role players being mobilised and indeed a female body was dug up and taken by pathologists.
Police have opened a murder case and are making an earnest appeal to the community to assist with the investigation. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect is urged to contact Detective Lieutenant Colonel Jacky Mbuyane at 082 469 1478 or the SAPS Crime Stop number, 08600 10111.
The Mpumalanga’s Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has condemned the incident in the strongest possible terms and requested the community to work with the police in bringing the perpetrator to book. General Zuma said that gender-based violence is top priority in the agenda of policing in the country.
MEC applauds Pienaar community following the recent body exhumation in a shallow grave
Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Ms. Gabisile Shabalala has applauded the community of Pienaar, outside Mbombela, for the role that they have played by notifying the police, who immediately acted, following the discovery and exhumation of a body believed to be that of a female on Friday evening.
MEC Shabalala said the tipoff is a clear indication of the centrality of communities’ participation in crime prevention and this she added that it was in line with community in blue concept.
The concept places the community and CPFs at the centre of preventing crime because the police alone will not prevent and solve crime.
It is alleged that the woman, who is believed to be 17-years-old, was last seen on 28 September after she visited Pienaar with a man believed to be her boyfriend. She is reportedly from Gauteng.
The discovery of the body came after the police were informed by the community that they have spotted a shoe protruding from the ground in the area.
Following an extensive search, the body was discovered buried in a shallow grave in the area.
MEC Shabalala has further pleaded with the police to ensure that the suspect is urgently brought to book and that no bail should be granted in this case.
She has called for lengthy sentences to be meted out to those who are guilty of gender-based violence.
She said that with urgent finalisation of abuse and severely punishing culprits, communities will be inspired to work with the police to bring perpetrators to book. This, she said, will ensure safer communities.
Shabalala bemoaned the seemingly unending incidences of women and child abuse in the province.
“We are calling on all communities to work with government in order to bring an end to the scourge,” said the MEC.
She has also encouraged women to walk away from abusive boyfriends and partners and not wait until it is too late.
The MEC also encouraged parents to look after their girlchildren and also discouraged them from dating older men for monetary benefits.
She has called for constant monitoring of children’s social media activities as part of preventing girls from falling prey to online monsters posing as their friends.
Shabalala has pleaded for more support to survivors of abuse so that they do not feel more victimised.