MPUMALANGA MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR FRAUD AND CORRUPTION
MPUMALANGA – Khensani Antoinette Mashaba (37) was found guilty and sentenced by the Mhala Regional Court on Tuesday 31 August 2021 for fraud and corruption – Contravening Section 17 read with section 1,2(1) 2(2) of the Prevention and combating of corrupt activities Act 12 of 2004.
During the period between April 2012 and November 2012, Mashaba was employed by the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality as a public officer and she allegedly recruited two relatives to open a company called Amiway CC which necessitated transporting or supplying of water to the affected areas in Mkhuhlu region.
Without the knowledge of the two ladies who opened the company the accused, Mashaba acquired an interest in a contract or agreement between the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality and an entity known as Amiway CC. Mashaba made the application for the rendering of service by Amiway CC on behalf of the Municipality in which Amiway CC was paid a total amount of R700 070,00 for services rendered of the said contract.
She then unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud/misrepresent the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality and/or its employees submitted duplicate claims of R93 480.00 which was unlawful as well as invalid and Municipality paid the money into Amiway CC business account for the service which was never rendered.
In 2015, information was received by Special Investigative Unit(SIU) through a whistle-blower, about the municipal employee who was running an unregistered company. A case was opened and later transferred to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga for further investigation.
During the investigation, it was established that Mashaba recruited the two ladies to open a company and ordered them to put her cell phone number on the business account. It was also established that the said municipality was at all times dealing with the accused and not members of the Amiway CC. Mashaba ensured that the particulars on the invoice such as postal address and contact numbers did not belong to Amiway but were hers and those of her relatives.
The suspect was arrested, charged with fraud, theft and corruption. During the trial, witnesses admitted that indeed they were recruited to open a company and business account in which she withheld all the documents. The victims further testified that since they handed all the documents to the accused, they never heard anything about the company and they did not benefit from it.
The investigation was finalised and the accused was found guilty and sentenced on Monday as follows:
-The accused was sentenced to five(5) years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five (5)years on condition that the accused is not convicted of Fraud and Corruption during the period of suspension.
-To pay compensation to the amount of R93 480.00 to the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
The accused to submits herself to correctional supervision for a period of twelve (12) months and the correctional supervision shall be comprised of the following measures:
House Arrest at her home in Culcutta Trust, Community Service for sixteen(16 ) hours per month for a total of twelve (12) months to be performed over the weekend at Culcutta/Mkhuhlu SAPS
Participation in the programs is determined by the supervision committee.
Refrain from abusing drugs or alcohol
Submit herself to an assessment with the Social Worker at Bushbuckridge Community Corrections.
Subject herself to monitoring.
Not to leave the magisterial district of Mapulaneng.
Conduct herself properly at all times
-Accused deemed to be declared unfit to possess a firearm
Failure to comply with these conditions will result in the accused being brought back to court for an alternative sentence.