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 Fraud News from Africa: December 2008

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31

 

Mthatha fraudster struck off the roll

 

THE Mthatha High Court has struck flamboyant Mthatha attorney Ntsikane Mtshabe, convicted of fraud amounting to almost R500000, off the roll of attorneys and conveyancers.

 

27

 

Medical aid fraud to top R8bn a year

 

Medical aids are expecting a run on scam claims over the next few months as the economic squeeze gets tighter.

The increase in scams by medical aid members - often colluding with medical service providers - could see medical aid fraud soar beyond its already frightening R8-billion a year.

 

23

 

Scorpions: new hope?

 

CAPE TOWN — President Kgalema Motlanthe’s office has agreed to consider a request by Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister to submit legislation disbanding the Scorpions to the Constitutional Court, Glenister’s lawyer said yesterday.

 

Ex-manager in court for corruption

 

A former Rustenburg municipal manager appeared in court briefly on Tuesday on corruption charges, North West police said.

Thabo Isaacs, former manager of the water and sanitation unit, was granted R10 000 bail in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court, spokesperson Constable Dipuo Modiko said.

 

17

 

AFU gets restraint order on VAT fraud boss

 

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has obtained a provisional restraint order against Indo-Atlantic Seafoods director Johan van Staden, who is accused of R200-million VAT fraud, as well as several other businessmen involved in the Indo Group.

 

Case pending for lethal liquor makers

 

Ten years after two men were arrested in connection with the manufacture of liquor containing lethal amounts of methanol, the case has still not been finalised.

 

King claims vindication in SARS battle

 

BUSINESSMAN Dave King feels vindicated by the judgment requiring the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to provide him with an index of internal SARS memos and correspondence linked to his case against the taxman.

 

Shaik's auditors admit guilt

 

The two auditors who helped fraudster Schabir Shaik cook his company's books pleaded guilty last week to three counts of improper conduct and were suspended from practising for six months by the auditing profession's regulator.

 

16

 

Justice gets a fingerprint

 

The government has set aside R5-billion for sweeping improvements to the criminal justice system, including a consolidated fingerprint database that will incorporate more than 30-million home affairs records for the first time.

 

Scorpions join probe into Dexter

 

The Scorpions have launched their own investigation into the Congress of the People's (Cope) national communications manager, Phillip Dexter.

 

15

 

Sangster linked with 'CCTV panel members'

 

Mark Sangster, the safety consultant to the City of Cape Town whose security company Orbis was awarded a R25-million contract to manage the central business district's CCTV control room, had a close relationship with an official who served on bid adjudication committees for the tender.

 

30,000 housing officials face court action

 

About 30,000 government officials are facing legal or court action for housing fraud, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said today.

 

International credit card scam busted

 

When Kizito Ojoni and George Adesanya appear in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court today (Monday), the crime on the charge sheet will only read "fraud".

But investigators and prosecutors are hoping to convince the court that the pair's crimes are far more serious and that they are at the very top of a very complex international syndicate, believed to have defrauded banks worldwide of tens of millions of rands.

 

14

 

Pikoli turned down R10m government offer to slink out quietly

 

Sacked national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli rejected a R10-million golden handshake to settle his fight to reclaim his job.

 

13

 

Cops reel in greedy hackers

 

A syndicate of Internet thieves has stolen more than R400-million from government departments, including the Presidency.

Two computer identity-theft hackers, believed to be the masterminds of the cyber gang, were nabbed by the police this week.

 

12

 

Another blow for state’s case

 

The state’s case was dealt with yet another blow yesterday when state witness Meshack Sipho Malaza contradicted himself during cross-examination.

 

Malaza was testifying in a high-profile corruption trial in the Nelspruit regional court involving former Mpumalanga Economic Empowerment Corporation chief executive Ernest Khoza and former provincial director-general Stanley Soko.

 

Arms playboy's accounts frozen

 

Fana Hlongwane, the man at the centre of the investigation of South Africa's arms deal, has had five foreign bank accounts frozen, blocking funds totalling more than R160-million.

 

According to an affidavit by the investigator leading the Scorpions probe of the deal, Hlongwane is now the subject of money-laundering investigations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and has had accounts in both countries frozen.

 

11

 

Fidentia boss asks state to drop charges

 

Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown asked the Cape High Court yesterday to order that all the charges against him, including those of fraud and money laundering involving R200m, be dropped.

 

Corruption task team swoops on suspects

 

FOUR people were arrested yesterday in a police swoop in connection with fraud amounting to millions of rands.

 

The arrests were carried out by the provincial commercial crimes unit task team, headed by Senior Superintendent Yoliswa Siyotula, as part of an initiative to root out corruption in the province.

 

KZN MEC faces fraud charges

 

KWAZULU-Natal Health MEC Neliswa “Peggy” Nkonyeni, who was arrested yester day, is to face charges of corruption and fraud.

 

She would also face additional charges under the Public Finance Management Act , the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

 

“The State will allege and adduce evidence to the effect that conduct of the accused persons criminally interfered with and/or influenced procurement procedures in order to achieve their intended outcomes when a cancer screening machine was purchased,” NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said.

 

10

 

Brown slams corruption

 

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Lynne Brown called on Tuesday for more ethical leaders in the fight against corruption, after South Africa dropped eight places this year in an annual global index of corruption.

 

09

 

Gautrain fraud jumps by a third

 

The amount of taxpayers' money stolen under the guise of Gautrain land expropriation was not R6,5-million but R9-million.

The Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works says, however, that an internal investigation found that none of its employees were involved and that a criminal syndicate had managed to infiltrate its systems.

 

Rising fraud rocks SA

 

South Africa is experiencing a rise in fraud, robberies and commercial crimes.

 

“We are seeing a rise in commercial crimes such as fraud, especially the transfer of funds and identity theft.

08

 

Mokoena case put on hold

 

The trial of former Mangaung mayor, Pappie Mokoena, his wife Granny, and 18 other accused on charges of racketeering, fraud and corruption was postponed on Monday.

The Free State High Court postponed the matter provisionally to March 13, 2009, after two accused could not appear in the High Court on Monday because they were in police custody on another matter.

 

South African president dismisses top prosecutor

 

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe on Monday dismissed the suspended head of the country's prosecuting authority, which is spearheading the corruption case against ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

 

Christmas liberty for Clifford and co

 

FALLEN investment queen Maureen Clifford and her fellow conspirators will not be spending Christmas behind bars.

 

Bitou admits to conflict of interest

 

The ANC-led Bitou municipality in Plettenberg Bay has admitted that the awarding of four contracts to a company whose directors worked for the municipality was "partly" a conflict of interests.

 

07

 

Reuben September under fire for Telkom deal

 

Telkom CEO Reuben September has come under fire for pushing through a multibillion-rand tender despite it being shrouded in controversy and claims of corruption.

 

Cop claims he’s being victimised for blowing whistle on corruption

 

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) is probing a claim of victimisation by a Newcastle policeman who blew the whistle on alleged corruption at his station.

 

Aradhna Moodley, 27, says her husband, Inspector Errol Moodley, 33, is being victimised for disclosing irregularities at the Newcastle police station.

 

05

 

No bail for businessman

 

Cape Town businessman Johan van Staden will be behind bars for longer than expected after his bail hearing was postponed in the Cape Town magistrate's court.

The hearing got under way last week but another postponement, which was agreed to by both the prosecution and defence, was granted by magistrate Eric Louw.

Van Staden was arrested and charged for Vat fraud totalling R200-million last week.

 

Garth le Roux jailed for fraud

 

Former Springbok fast bowler Garth le Roux and his accountant Deon van Heerden have each been sentenced to an effective four years in jail for tax fraud.

 

Festering sore in our politics

 

The recent raids by the Scorpions on properties belonging to the late defence minister Joe Modise’s colourful former special adviser Fana Hlongwane have once more brought the government’s controversy-ridden multi-billion rand arms deal under the spotlight.

 

Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk, have called on President Kgalema Motlanthe to establish a judicial commission of inquiry.

Suspended city boss formally charged

 

SUSPENDED Buffalo City municipal manager Gaster Sharpley has been formally charged for “flouting policies”.

 

It is alleged that his actions resulted in lucrative tenders being awarded without council knowledge. Sharpley was placed on precautionary suspension during a special council meeting more than two months ago.

 

Ginwala absolves Mbeki

 

The confidential report of the Ginwala commission clears former president Thabo Mbeki of an abuse of executive power, finding that he did not interfere in the arrest and prosecution of police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

 

How arms deal 'bribes' were paid

 

Dramatic new evidence of corruption in the arms deal is disclosed in documents used by the Scorpions to motivate for last week’s raids on premises countrywide.

 

04

 

Sentula is ‘aggressively’ searching for misappropriated assets

 

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - Mining services and coal-mining company Sentula Mining on Thursday assured shareholders that it was “aggressively” going after the misappropriated company assets, and that it had made good progress in this regard

 

Police to access wider forensic data

 

Government plans to fight crime are to be given a legal boost by allowing the police to have access to the fingerprint databases of other government departments while investigating crime.

 

This will have the obvious benefit of allowing detectives to compare the fingerprints of every citizen held by the Home Affairs department with fingerprints found at crime scenes. Even if non-citizens do not have SA ID books, the fingerprints on their driving licences can be accessed via the Department of Transport.

 

Police corruption major issue

 

Police corruption and their failure to respond to calls for help are the two main problems South Africans have with the police, parliamentarians said on Thursday.

 

Members of the portfolio committees on justice, safety and security and correctional services had been holding public hearings across the country on the proposed new integrated Criminal Justice System (CJS) the past two weeks.

 

03

 

Concourt rules on SIU liability claim

 

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday referred a damages claim against a special investigating unit back to the Eastern Cape High Court after settling a dispute over which unit could be held responsible.

 

Tutu, De Klerk call for arms-deal probe

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk have written to President Kgalema Motlanthe to request that he establish an independent commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

 

Top ANC members accused of corruption

 

Four prominent Eastern Cape politicians have turned to the Grahamstown High Court to try and clear their names after allegations of corruption were made against them in a judicial report, Die Burger reported on Wednesday.

 

02

 

South Africans can now use cash to pay online – with Ukash

 

Ukash, a globally recognised e-commerce cash payment method, has landed on South African shores to take the country by storm – just in time for the festive season.

The payment solution enables online purchasing using prepaid vouchers, easing the minds of consumers and protecting them from credit and debit card fraud, charge-backs and identity theft.

 

Call for unity in fight against crime

 

A unified approach comprising all sectors of the economy and society is needed to fight crime in the country, Deputy President Baleka Mbete said on Monday.

 

Maureen Clifford trial extended with new advocate

 

THE marathon Maureen Clifford trial could drag on into the new year following the fallen investment queen‘s decision to fire her attorney yesterday.

 

Clifford, found guilty on charges of fraud involving more than R100-million, would now be represented by high- profile advocate Terry Price.

 

01

 

'Synergy key in fighting crime'

 

Communication, co-ordination and accountability are key in fighting crime, Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

Addressing the crime summit 2008 in Midrand, Mthethwa said it was not a matter of having too little information on criminal activities, but rather that it was not always used to reduce crime levels.

 

Three held for acting as cops

 

Johannesburg - Three men appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly impersonating police officers during an armed robbery, Johannesburg police said.

 

 
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