Fraud News 2008

January 2008

February 2008

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June 2008

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September 2008

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December 2008

 Fraud News from Africa: May 2008

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Firm trying to cheat pensioners - curator


JSE-listed travel and leisure company Cullinan, which owns brand names such as Thompson Holidays, Pentravel and Hylton Ross Tours, stands accused of a massive R42-million attempt to defraud members and pensioners of its retirement fund.

The allegations were made by the curator of the Power Pack Pension Fund, Tony Mostert, in a successful application in the Witwatersrand High Court to place a subsidiary company of Cullinan, Pix Websense, in liquidation. (Read more...)




Scorpions’ demise lamented


The closure of the Scorpions will protect corrupt and criminal politicians from prosecution, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions warned yesterday.


The Scorpions would lose its ability to independently investigate state officials if it was incorporated into the police, said Billy Downer SC. (Read more...)


Hlophe's 'improper attempt'


Cape Judge President John Hlophe has been accused of attempting to influence the Constitutional Court's decision on search and seizure raids carried out by the Scorpions on properties of Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturing giant Thint.

A Concourt statement released on Friday afternoon said that a complaint had been referred to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) following allegations that "Judge John Hlophe has approached some of the judges of the Constitutional Court in an improper attempt to influence this Court's pending judgment in one or more cases..." (Read more...)


Shaik's money to go to victims


Victims of crime will benefit from R40-million the state has seized from convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik for bribing ANC president Jacob Zuma. (Read more...)


'Yengeni must give back Kebble's cash'


The joint trustees of late mining figure Brett Kebble's estate want the Cape High Court to order former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni to repay more than R250 000 they say he received from Kebble. (Read more...)


Agents try track Jewel City's R8m man


Thabo Mokwena, the Johannesburg-based consultant who was paid more than R8-million for the controversial Jewellery City project, can't be found for summons to be served on him.


Mokwena is a key player in the Jewellery City tender scandal in which high-level managers and former ANC mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo were implicated. (Read more...)


Neurologists support investigation into suspicious claims


Durban - The Neurological Association of SA agrees with the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) that annual claims submitted by 10 neurologists for more than R20 million are suspicious and need further investigation. (Read more...)


Shaik denied spoils of crime


The Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that the state had established as fact that Jacob Zuma had a corrupt relationship with convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik.


The court was ruling on an application by Shaik for the return of about R34-million in cash and assets confiscated from him by the state after his conviction for fraud. (Read more...)




Swazi minister faces graft probe


A cabinet minister is one of 30 Swaziland businessmen who are to be investigated by the country's main anti-corruption unit over how they amassed their fortunes, the government said on Thursday.

"We have handed over 30 names to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and it is up to the commission to conclude its investigations," government press secretary Percy Simelane said. (Read more...)


Travelgate MPs 'don't owe any money'


None of the MPs still listed as involved in the Travelgate scam owe parliament a cent, according to its legal adviser, Anthea Gordon.

She maintained on Tuesday that the more than 100 MPs, including some ministers, who collectively owe close to R6-million, could not be held liable for the travel voucher scam.

Gordon said they had taken the view that civil claims against MPs should not be pursued because it was Bathong Travel Agency that had defrauded parliament, not MPs. (Read more...)


Susan Brown offers to return


Susan Brown, wife of former Fidentia boss J Arthur W Brown, was prepared to return from Australia on condition he was released on his latest charges, the Cape High Court heard. (Read more...)


Bitou whistle-blower ‘undermining delivery‘


BITOU DA councillor Johann Brummer is to face a disciplinary hearing for allegedly breaching the council‘s code of conduct.


Speaker Lawrence Luiters told a council meeting yesterday that Brummer was being charged with an attempt to undermine service delivery.


Luiters said no charges had been formulated yet but the alleged misconduct took place in 2006 when Brummer was at the forefront of revealing alleged corruption by mayor Euan Wildeman and former municipal manager George Seitisho.


Seitisho and Wildeman will appear in the Knysna magistrate‘s court on July 1 to plead to charges of fraud and/or theft, relating to the 2006 allegations. (Read more...)


PE businessman charged over R6m forex scam


A BUSINESSMAN has appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court on charges of fraud, unlawful acceptance of deposits and fraudulent trading involving more than R6-million.


John Claassens, who allegedly opened a cash loan firm called Finplus in March 2000, is believed to have masterminded a foreign exchange investment scam from March 2001 until August 2003. (Read more...)


80 matrics sent back a grade amid pass mark fraud claim


NEARLY 80 Port Elizabeth pupils have been demoted from Grade 12 to Grade 11 amid claims of fraud and corruption.


Sixty matric candidates from Newell High School and 15 others from Ernest Skhosana High School have to return to Grade 11 by Monday because the schools could not verify whether they had passed. (Read more...)


King fails to delay SARS lawsuit


BUSINESSMAN Dave King yesterday lost a bid to postpone a case brought by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for the right to sell shares in a British Virgin Island company.


SARS is trying to recoup taxes it says King owes, and wants to sell the shares as it maintains they were transferred to hide King’s wealth. (Read more...)


Bid to stop fraud case against tax official


A DEFENCE lawyer for a former South African Revenue Services auditor accused of fraud and theft has brought an application to bar the State from prosecuting him.


Advocate Sash Nankan, who represents Akash Lachman, yesterday asked for a permanent stay of prosecution because, he argued, his client would not get a fair trial. (Read more...)


Greased palms stain white collars


A staggering 72percent of South Africans have been victims of white-collar crime such as fraud, corruption, embezzlement and theft.


Attorney Matthew Purchase said fraud in the purchasing of goods and services by businesses, paying kickbacks and manipulating tenders were common. (Read more...)





Scorpions, Brown discussed plea


The Scorpions have been talking to the attorney acting for former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown about a plea agreement, it emerged in the Cape High Court.


And in an affidavit, Brown also revealed that he has been negotiating with some of the major investors in Fidentia for a court action against the curators. (Read more...)


Judgment delayed again in Maree trial


JUDGMENT in the fraud case against former National Empowerment Fund (NEF) CEO Sydney Maree has been delayed for the fourth time in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria. It is now expected to be delivered in July. (Read more...)


The rot of corruption


The Special Investigations Unit has uncovered wide-scale corruption among government officials involved in the awarding of housing subsidies, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told MPs on Wednesday.

"The SIU embarked on a massive forensic data analytical investigation, and identified 31 259 potentially irregular housing subsidy transactions awarded to government employees," she said in the National Assembly at the start of the debate on her department's budget vote. (Read more...)


Health officials held for fraud


Ten health department officials were arrested on Wednesday for fraud involving nearly a million rand, Eastern Cape police said. (Read more...)




Pioneer Foods ’studying’ referral from Competition Commission


Pioneer Foods and its advisors are studying the contents of the referral from the Competition Commission and will respond in due course, the listed food group said today.


Pioneer Foods has received a complaint referral from the Competition Commission in connection with the alleged operation of a bread cartel within SA. (Read more...)


Bigger budget for fraud unit


THE correctional services department announced yesterday it had set aside R14,4m this year for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to help the department intensify its fight against fraud and corruption in prisons. (Read more...)


The human face of Fidentia mess


Behind the money and the scandal is the human face of the Fidentia collapse — a pupil in a wheelchair who doesn’t have the money for a pair of shoes to wear to his matric dance.


Leroy Zuze, 21, thought he had R82000 in the Fidentia-controlled Living Hands Trust, but was left destitute when Fidentia was put under curatorship in February last year.


Zuze’s mother, Patience Mawu, told the Cape High Court yesterday that she was desperate. (Read more...)




Massive traffic fine scam uncovered


Thousands of motorists in Pretoria are being swindled out of traffic fine money by scam artists posing as metro officials.

The con artists have been operating for years, according to the Tshwane Metro Police. (Read more...)


Nedbank seeks to appeal judgment


Pretoria - Nedbank has applied for leave to appeal against a judgment that found "overwhelming evidence" of fraud or collusion between the bank and joint liquidators, including Enver Motala, in the auction of 137 properties for a nominal value and to the prejudice of creditors in a Pretoria property development company in liquidation. (Read more...)


Fraudsters act as Telkom's CEO


Telkom's corporate and global customers have been made aware of a new refund scam which is currently doing the rounds, the listed Telecoms giant said on Monday.

The modus operandi involved fraudsters pretending to be Reuben September, Telkom's CEO, Thokozani Mvelase, Executive for TARPS (Telkom Assets and Revenue Protection Services), said. "Under this pretence, the fraudsters telephonically tell our customers that Telkom's banking details have changed and, as such, customers are asked to deposit their account payments into a falsified First National Bank account." (Read more...)


Whistle-blowers get tech


Whistle-blowing in SA has come of age, says Guy Brazier, CEO and co-founder of Tip-offs Anonymous.

According to Brazier, people are more comfortable with exposing unethical behaviour due to the anonymity technology allows and legislation making provisions for whistle-blowers, such as the Protected Disclosures Act 26 of 2000. (Read more...)


J.Arthur Brown, wife to challenge arrest warrants


An urgent Cape High Court application to set aside the arrest warrants of former Fidentia boss J.Arthur Brown and that of his wife Susan will be heard this morning. (Read more...)





UKZN squandering taxpayers’ money


The report “Former UKZN medical school head wins high court challenge” (May 18) raises a number of questions regarding UKZN’s management priorities and actions.


Those who remember and have absorbed history should not repeat their mistakes. This obviously does not apply to UKZN, whose senior management insist on wasting taxpayers’ money by losing cases. (Read more...)




Man who defrauded clients faces stiff jail term


A FORMER East London broker who defrauded his clients – many of them pensioners – of almost R700000 by cashing their cheques instead of investing them, may face a stiff jail term.

Louis Olivier, who owned Louis Olivier Financial Services, pleaded guilty and was convicted of six charges of fraud. This week the East London regional court heard how Olivier, 46, exploited his clients‘ trust by selling them investment policies, but then embezzled their money instead. (Read more...)


Secret audit hits energy training body


South Africa has been plunged into yet another energy scandal.

The Energy Sector Education and Training Authority (Eseta), set up to train engineers to work for power and water utilities such as Eskom and municipalities, faces being placed under legal administration because of huge financial irregularities and allegations of gross mismanagement. (Read more...)


Travelgate MPs may end up not paying a cent


Question: What do two ministers, the Free State premier, one of the Scorpions' most vocal critics and the MP who threatened to take the Springboks' passports away all have in common?

Answer: They are all listed as owing thousands of rands connected to the Travelgate fraud - and not one of them has paid a cent. (Read more...)




White-collar crime 'is rampant'


Although the violent nature of crime in SA is often highlighted, white-collar crimes are rampant and impact negatively on citizens' rights, an SA Human Rights Commission report released has said.

"The scourge of crime in South Africa is by no means limited to violent crime," researchers wrote in the Human Rights Development Report. (Read more...)


Nedbank probes legal advisor


Nedbank has instituted an investigation into alleged irregularities at long-standing legal advisor Findlay Niemeyer after the law firm failed to account for money from the sale of repossessed homes, Business Day reported on Friday.

The legal firm, which has been working with Nedbank since the 1930s, had suspended one of its lawyers in this connection. (Read more...)


Policewomen held for alleged fraud


TWO Port Elizabeth policewomen have been arrested after allegedly defrauding a loan shark out of about R6000.


They are being charged with theft after they allegedly told the man they had seen his car outside a bank that had been robbed earlier that afternoon. (Read more...)


Neurologists under billing microscope


Durban - Ten of the country's 90 private healthcare brain specialists claimed more than 40 percent of the medical aid money spent on neurology even though they had seen fewer than 25 percent of the patients, sparking an investigation by the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF).

The investigation into the neurologists' billing and coding practices was started after data taken from 11 medical aid schemes showed that the 10 specialists had claimed more than R20 million of the almost R50 million the schemes had spent on neurology in 2006 and last year. (Read more...)




No more insurance cons?


Business and Insurance on Summit TV speaks to Vivian Pearson from the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) about the launch of their industry-wide Insurance Crime Bureau initiative that’s going to use similar methods to the FBI to track down insurance fraudsters. (Read more...)


Woman lost R300 000 in property scam


A woman tourist who played golf on Pollsmoor Prison's driving range lost R300 000 after being duped by prison inmate Maurice de Grandhomme, the Wynberg Regional Court has been told.

The scam allegedly involved the purchase of property at the De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch.

De Grandhomme, 49, well known in golfing circles, was serving seven years for fraud and exchange control violations when he met tourist Mariana Fergusson at the range. (Read more...)


Fraud accused says R6m was 'fees'


A former president of the SA Baseball Union, faced with fresh fraud and money laundering charges involving R6-million, says the money the complainants paid him was professional fee.

This is what Brian Lombard's advocate, Johnny Vermeulen, put to Manfred Sprocter, an analyst for the Directorate of Special Operations, in the Wynberg regional court on Wednesday. (Read more...)




Fraser-Moleketi in hot water over undeclared gift


Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana has rapped Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi over the knuckles for accepting a birthday gift in 2006 without permission from the President and failing to declare the gift to the secretary of Cabinet. (Read more...)


Top prison officials implicated in fraud


CAPE TOWN — Startled MPs were told yesterday that senior prison officials signed off contracts worth millions for the construction of buildings that were never built and repairs to buildings that did not exist. (Read more...)


Teachers arrested for grant fraud


A group of people, mostly teachers from Qwa Qwa in the Eastern Free State, were expected to appear in the Phuthaditjhaba magistrate's court on Wednesday on charges of defrauding government out of social grants. (Read more...)


Clifford: bank told to repay businessman R6m


IN a significant move for out-of- pocket investors, Absa has been ordered to pay back more than R6-million to a Port Elizabeth businessman who invested millions in Maureen Clifford‘s controversial Usapho Trust scheme shortly before it collapsed. (Read more...)


'Supercops will sting as hard as Scorpions'


The unit that replaces the Scorpions will pursue those investigations - including corruption cases against ANC president Jacob Zuma and police boss Jackie Selebi - with "the same, if not more, vigour" than it had.

This is according to Justice Department director-general Menzi Simelane, who, backed by Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla and Minister for Safety and Security Charles Nqakula, has made an eleventh-hour attempt to justify the government's decision to "restructure" the Scorpions. (Read more...)





What will come of new arms deal report?


The ANC's national executive committee is to discuss an explosive report on the arms deal that is likely to prod senior leaders to demand that the investigation of the country's biggest armament acquisition be reopened.

The report follows the party's decision earlier this year to have its own inquiry into the controversial deal. (Read more...)


Fidentia kingpin seeks freedom in Pretoria court


An alleged kingpin in the Fidentia asset management scandal, Steven Goodwin, launched an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday to secure his freedom.

He asked the court to set aside and declare unconstitutional a request by the Director General of Justice to United States authorities for his provisional arrest in America. (Read more...)




Civil servants mired in housing fraud


Some 125 corrupt civil servants in the Western Cape have signed debt acknowledgements of almost R2-million collectively for government houses they obtained fraudulently, Housing MEC Richard Dyantyi said on Sunday. (Read more...)


Obasanjo's daughter arrested


Abuja - The daughter of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of accepting 10 million naira (about R636 000) of funds allegedly stolen from the health ministry. (Read more...)


Investment manager in court


Investment manager Paul Rigden kicked off Monday morning in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Rigden is accused by the state of committing fraud of a total value of about R2m and contravention of the Banks Act. (Read more...)


Disbanding Scorpions could kill Fidentia case


The "unconsidered" disbandment of the Scorpions could destroy the state's R200-million Fidentia fraud-and-theft case - leaving 73 000 victims high and dry.

This was the warning given by acting National Prosecuting Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe, who on Friday laid bare how the reckless "restructuring" of the crime-fighting unit - or defamation of its investigators - could devastate the fight against organised crime. (Read more...)


Corruption hurting developing world – Fraser-Moleketi


South Africa's Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, on Monday said that corruption was especially corrosive for the developing world with funds to be used for the development and upliftment of the people being misspent. (Read more...)


Grandhomme fraud trial delayed


The start of the trial of two former convicts accused of fraud was postponed in Cape Town on Monday when one of them did not arrive from Pollsmoor prison.

Wynberg regional magistrate Ben Langa adjourned the hearing to May 21 after Maurice de Grandhomme, who has been in custody since his arrest by the Scorpions two years ago, failed to appear in court. (Read more...)


Mayor fired over R800000


The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet has fired eMandlangeni municipality mayor Mabhutana Khoza for financial mismanagement estimated at more than R800000. (Read more...)


Nersa manager guilty of fraud


A Swazi court has found that a senior executive of The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) fraudulently manipulated a tender of Swaziland’s national power company. (Read more...)




Zuma trial only in 2010


Jacob Zuma will not go on trial for corruption, fraud and other criminal charges until he is president of the country.

And it might even be deep into his first term before he has to take a seat in the dock.

"Given the agreements reached by all the parties concerned at our Thursday meeting with Vuka Tshabalala, the judge president of KwaZulu-Natal, I can't see a criminal trial taking place before 2010," Michael Hulley, Zuma's attorney, told Weekend Argus day. (Read more...)


Laundry scandal man is clean, say official


A top Health Department official has leapt to the defence of a beleaguered laundry owner who won a lucrative tender to clean hospital linen despite not owning washing machines.


Eastern Cape Health superintendent-general Lawrence Boya insists there is no crisis as dirty washing piles up — and the man awarded the tender is unmasked as a forensic investigator attached to the government’s Special Investigations Unit. (Read more...)





Conman nabbed - Paper’s exposé does it


Finally, an end was put to conman Bernd Wulffen’s international football development scam when police pounced on him in Cape Town yesterday.

The German con artist is believed to have an accomplice in Mpumalanga, where he has already set up an office to expand his bogus German International Football Academy. (Read more...)


FSB set to gain more power to police life companies


The government has published draft legislation that is aimed at preventing a repeat of the implosion of life assurance company Fedsure, in which thousands of retirement fund members, particularly fund members in the building industry, lost 12 percent (total value R600 million) of their retirement savings.

The legislation is also aimed at tightening up on with-profit, smooth-bonus investment products and with-profit guaranteed annuities (pensions) in which millions of South Africans have billions of rands invested. (Read more...)





Bodyguards for town boss


Emfuleni Municipality in the Vaal has beefed up security around its town manager by assigning bodyguards to her after she received death threats through her cellphone.


It is believed the threats to Mmapusetso Bakane-Tuoane were linked to a corruption investigation against municipal officials in various departments. (Read more...)


Zuma fights on to quash charges


Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thint will use the next few months to quash the fraud, corruption and racketeering charges against them.

On August 4 - the date the trial was scheduled to start - Zuma's legal team will apply to have the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge him declared unlawful. (Read more...)


Sanco member up for fraud


A prominent member of the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) in Limpopo was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly defrauding a pensioner of R16000.


Caroline Maroga, who served in civic politics for more than three years, was allegedly arrested while hiding in a tree at Santeng village. (Read more...)


Laundry scandal man is forensic investigator


THE owner of the laundry service at the centre of a R4.7million hospital tender scandal is a forensic investigator attached to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in East London. (Read more...)




Financial misconduct levels climb


Parliament has added its voice to an appeal for a "black list" or central database of public service employees guilty of financial misconduct such as fraud or theft. (Read more...)


Officials fined for housing scam


Twenty-six public servants were fined R2000 or R5000 on Thursday, with alternative six or 12-month jail sentences, for taking part in housing scams.

They appeared before Pietermaritzburg regional magistrate Paul Abelman. (Read more...)


Manuel contempt claim ruling reserved


Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne denied that he was waging a personal vendetta against Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.


Addressing the Cape High Court, where he has applied for a contempt of court ruling against the minister and former finance director-general Maria Ramos, he said: "The arms deal is not some Trevor/Terry saga.


"I am not motivated by malice against him even though he has tried twice, and failed twice, to financially sequestrate me.


"My motivation is purely to hold a government minister to account, and to demand that he does his job properly." (Read more...)




'Nail Travelgate Mps'


The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has asked National Assembly (NA) Speaker Baleka Mbete to explain why a liquidators' probe into MPs' involvement in alleged travel fraud is being terminated. (Read more...)


'All Scorpions cases will be completed'


Every Scorpions investigation, including the one into Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, will be finalised, according to Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.

"There is not a single case that was investigated by the Scorpions, which is under investigation now, that will not be finalised. All of those cases will be finalised," Nqakula said on Tuesday, the same day the draft legislation to dissolve the Scorpions and set up a new organised crime unit was formally tabled in parliament. (Read more...)


Travelgate MPs may not have to pay up


Members of Parliament who owe millions lost in the Travelgate scam will not have to pay up - should the government have its way.

On Friday, a tiny notice in the Government Gazette announced pending resolutions that will stop all civil action against MPs linked to the alleged abuse of parliamentary travel vouchers by Bathong Travel, the agency whose parliamentary clients included Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula. (Read more...)


‘Crooks’ use Tito’s name in vain


A Frenchman pretending to be the Reserve Bank governor, Tito Mboweni, and his four accomplices have allegedly fleeced a foreign businessman of more than R2-million.


Adam Toure and his cronies, Mark Ezende, Alpheus Onabuenyi, Meleece Ayoba and her husband, Franklin, briefly appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court this week on two charges of fraud. (Read more...)


DA speaks out against Scorpions Bill


The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that the Bill abolishing the Scorpions and amalgamating them into a police directorate will dramatically undermine the fight against crime, and against organised crime in particular. (Read more...)




Asset manager under curatorship


Progressive Investment Holdings (PIH) and its related businesses were placed under provisional curatorship on Monday. PIH, a little known financial services outfit, made headlines recently when it appointed former rugby star Joost van der Westhuizen as its chief operations officer.


The order was granted following an application made by Financial Services Board (FSB) executive officer Dube Tshidi. "The application was preceded by an in-depth inspection into the affairs of Progressive Investment Trust and its associated institutions at the instance of the Registrar of Financial Services Providers," says an FSB press release. (Read more...)


NPA date blunder casts new doubt on Zuma trial


AN ASTONISHING administrative oversight by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could further delay the troubled prosecution of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma, raising the prospect that SA’s next president could be sworn in early next year while still facing criminal charges. (Read more...)


New bureau ready to tackle insurance crime


With insurance crime costing short-term insurance companies more than R2 billion a year and increasing, the industry was launching an Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB) to tackle fraud, Viviene Pearson, the stakeholder relations manager at the SA Insurance Association, said yesterday. (Read more...)


No bail for Brown


The Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday remanded in custody Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown for a week, following his arrest last Friday on charges of fraud, theft and money laundering relating to the company Antheru. (Read more...)


Anti-corruption hotline number can stay


PRETORIA - The number of the national anti-corruption hotline does not need to change following a ruling by the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.


Gobodo Forensic Accounting, which helped established and manage the hotline call centre, wanted to hold on to the call line number after its contract from the Public Service Commission to operate it expired in August last year. (Read more...)


Zuma trial date to be finalised


Legal teams for Jacob Zuma and his co-accused are to meet with the National Prosecuting Authority and the KwaZulu-Natal Judge President, Vuka Tshabalala, on Thursday to finalise a court date. (Read more...)




Brown’s wife’s flight ‘destroyed trust’


The sudden disappearance last month of the wife of Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown had destroyed the good faith between the couple and the Scorpions, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard today. (Read more...)


Travelgate MP’s trial postponed


Travelgate MP Mnyami Booi has been granted a postponement of his trial, which was to have started in the Cape Town Regional Court last week. (Read more...)


SAPS 'full of criminals'


Pretoria - Only 192 police were suspended for "corruption" in the past year - a little over 0.1% of the 137 000-strong police service.


But independent researchers and criminologists have slammed the statistics saying they indicate the SAPS "doesn't have a clue and doesn't want to have a clue" about the extent of corruption and criminal activity in its ranks. And they have warned that the police force is fast becoming an "organisation of criminals". (Read more...)





Lies, Lies and Yet More Lies


Mbeki knew all about the investigation into the national police commissioner, says Pikoli.


Vusi Pikoli thought it was his mandate to root out crime, but when he tackled the country’s top cop on allegations of bribery and corruption, it cost him his job.


After getting an arrest warrant for National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, National Director of Public Prosecutions Pikoli was suspended by President Thabo Mbeki.


However, in January this year, the President apparently lied to the nation when he claimed to have had no clue about the case against Selebi “until just a few days ago”. (Read more...)


Arms details still on lockdown


Details of South Africa's arms trade over the past three years remain under wraps after a planned meeting between MPs and the committee charged with supervising the trade to discuss its outstanding reports was postponed.

It is the umpteenth time MPs have failed to secure a meeting with the National Conventional Arms Control Co-ordinating Committee (NCACC), which is supposed to report quarterly to parliament. (Read more...)


Cotton gets 15 years


Eight months after he was arrested and taken into custody, former First National Bank financial adviser Clynton Cotton pleaded guilty this week to fraud and money laundering involving more than R12-million.

Duped FNB clients who entrusted their money to Cotton can rest easy as the bank is reimbursing them. (Read more...)




Zambia recovers millions


Lusaka - Tens of millions of dollars in Zambian state funds and assets which were stolen by officials during the rule of former president Frederick Chiluba have been recovered, the government said on Friday. (Read more...)




Mpshe ‘did not trust the Scorpions’


Acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe did not trust the Scorpions to hold back on the execution of a warrant for the arrest of police chief Jackie Selebi, justice department DG Menzi Simelane said today. (Read more...)


NIA boss set to testify against Pikoli


The intelligence boss who tried to help National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi get his corruption case squashed is expected to be the State's next witness against suspended prosecuting boss Vusi Pikoli. (Read more...)


Crime levels down, but fear increases


Although crime levels have gone down, most South Africans think crime is on the increase and have lower confidence in the police, according to a survey by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). (Read more...)


Gone phishing


E-criminals take note: the kits you need to launch phishing attacks and spoof Web sites are now available on the Internet – free.

PandaLabs, the malware detection and analysis laboratory at Panda Security, says it has discovered several free phishing kits on the Web that allow cyber-crooks to send out fraudulent e-mails. (Read more...)


Fidentia's Brown arrested


Fidentia chief executive J Arthur Brown has been arrested on charges of theft, fraud and money laundering, the NPA said on Friday.

"J Arthur Brown was arrested on the strength of a warrant following the investigation that was carried out on a separate leg of the bigger Fidentia investigation," said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali. (Read more...)


'Travelgate' affidavit gagged


A Cape Town regional magistrate on Friday banned the publication of a "Travelgate" affidavit by Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille, following a request by a Scorpions prosecutor.

This came as travel fraud accused African National Congress MP Mnyamezeli Booi renewed his attack on the Scorpions, which he said had exceeded their powers and acted unconstitutionally. (Read more...)


Manyatshe not done yet


MTN SA's ex-MD Maanda Manyatshe is preparing to provide evidence which will show the SA Post Office (SAPO) knew he was not guilty of instituting tender irregularities.


Manyatshe is suing the state-owned entity for R260 million in damages. This follows a September 2006 article in the Mail & Guardian in which then SAPO CEO Khutso Mampeule accused Manyatshe of committing fraud while still CEO of the company. (Read more...)




MEC comes clean to integrity chief on ‘private’ land purchase


GAUTENG local government MEC Qedani Mahlangu defended her involvement in a controversial multimillion-rand land development in Ekurhuleni to the integrity commissioner, her office said yesterday.


Mahlangu was called to answer allegations that she did not declare her interests in the Meyersdal Nature Estate. (Read more...)


Fight for secret Mbeki letter


Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla had ordered prosecuting boss Vusi Pikoli not to arrest or prosecute National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi for corruption - after receiving a secret letter from President Thabo Mbeki.

Now, as Pikoli fights to show that his suspension by Mbeki was related solely to his refusal to back down over the Scorpions' case against Selebi, the government is refusing to hand over the letter. (Read more...)


Former bank official begins 10-year sentence


Former FNB financial adviser Clynton Cotton left Durban's commercial crime court on Wednesday to begin serving his effective 10-year prison sentence for stealing more than R12-million from clients. (Read more...)


UCB fraudster denies greed


Former United Cricket Board general manager Diteko Modise disputed a probation officer’s report that greed was his motivation for defrauding his employer of R7.4-million.


“I am naturally not a greedy person. Of course, I’m highly ambitious, just like any other entrepreneur who gets an opportunity to run a business,” Modise said, despite once splashing out R100000 for a single suit at a Sandton store. (Read more...)


DA goes to court to get reports


What is the provincial government hiding by refusing to release the reports of several forensic investigations, commissions of inquiry and other high-profile investigations that have been conducted by Premier S'bu Ndebele's administration?

This is one of the questions that appears to be behind the DA's new manoeuvre in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, in which it plans to force the government to release the reports of investigations to MPLs. (Read more...)




I was suspended over Selebi, says Pikoli


The real reason for the suspension of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Vusi Pikoli related to a criminal probe into police chief Jackie Selebi, Pikoli's lawyers said on Wednesday.

"It was to put a spoke in the wheels of the investigation and prosecution of the police National Commissioner, Mr Jackie Selebi," they said. (Read more...)


'Fake gem syndicate' denied bail


Three men were denied bail on Wednesday when they appeared in the Randburg magistrate court on fraud charges.

Crime intelligence and Interpol spokesperson Tummi Golding said on Wednesday the men were remanded to Friday.

The men are allegedly behind a fake gem syndicate which targeted wealthy businessmen. (Read more...)


Fighting fraud is fraught with costs, fret bankers


South African bank executives are most concerned about fraud and the sheer costs of fighting it, according to the latest Banking Banana Skins survey, released yesterday.

The survey, conducted by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), revealed that executives from local banks lamented that the future cost of implementing new technology to counter fraud in electronic payments and presenting a safe payment infrastructure would be substantial. (Read more...)


Municipal staff investigated


Forensic investigators are probing links between a handful of allegedly corrupt municipal employees who stand accused of colluding with an eValuations' staff member dealing with Durban's old municipal valuation roll.

eValuations CEO Willy Govender and the council's head of real estate, Keith Mathias, on Tuesday confirmed the investigations into the employee and possible disciplinary action and criminal charges against council staff, but have stopped short of saying exactly what the men stand accused of. (Read more...)


Saambou managers acquitted


Two former senior Saambou bank managers were on Wednesday acquitted in the Pretoria High Court on 13 charges of, amongst others, fraud and theft.

Judge Willem van der Merwe found that former Saambou senior manager, Charles Edwards, and former group finance manager, Gerhardus de Clercq, could not be found guilty of reckless managment, contravening the Companies Act and theft or fraud resulting from a number of Saambou bank share schemes and transactions. (Read more...)


Police probe SIM swap fraud


The e-commerce unit of the South African Police Services (SAPS) has begun a large-scale investigation into SIM swap fraud with a view to building a collective case.

This is according to Anne-Lise Bure-Shepherd, CFO of the Novalis Ubuntu Institute, a non-profit organisation that was a victim of SIM swap fraud in November.


The thieves cancelled Bure-Shepherd's SIM card and had MTN issue a replacement card, accessed her account and transferred about R90 460 to other accounts. (Read more...)


Three accused in RAF fraud case appear in court


Three doctors accused of defrauding the Road Accident Fund of R4 million, have appeared in the Durban Regional Court. They are part of a group of eight people who've been charged with more than 200 counts of fraud, relating to RAF claims. (Read more...)


Condom case: charges provisionally withdrawn


The fraud and corruption charges against a former employee of the SA Bureau of Standards (SABS), and two co-accused were provisionally withdrawn in the Pretoria commercial crimes court on Wednesday.

"The state has not finalised (its) investigations. The state provisionally withdraws the charges," prosecutor Ilse Grobler said. (Read more...)


DA: explain corruption hotline irregularities


Jeanetha Brink exposed a deeply flawed corruption hotline, raised the alarm about tip-offs not being investigated and questioned why probes against top Gauteng government officials were derailed.

A few months later she was stripped of her duties and pushed to resign from the Gauteng Audit Services (GAS) - the heart of fraud investigations at the Gauteng Shared Services Centre (GSSC). (Read more...)


Bank to root out, sue ‘bad elements’


CAPE TOWN — Chairman of the embattled Land Bank board, Themba Langa, says it will know by May 19 who needs to be sued and who needs to be jailed in the R2bn scandal in which funds were siphoned from the bank for non-agricultural deals. (Read more...)




Internet banking scams not new


Unsolicited phishing emails, sent from fraudsters impersonating a bank, normally ask the user to click on a hyperlink to update or confirm their account details. Though the issue affects only a very small number of clients, it is something that Absa takes seriously, and continually educates its clients on how to safely bank online.


“Absa, or any other bank, will never send an email to customers requiring them to do this,” confirms Christo Vrey, Managing Executive for Absa Digital Channels.


Vrey strongly advises all individuals to ignore emails, supposedly from your bank, that ask you to confirm or update your personal details, and not to click on any links in the message. (Read more...)


Pin no obstacle for debit card thieves


A debit card transaction requires a pin number for the request to be authorised. With this in mind, you may think that - bar a criminal holding a gun to your head demanding the pin - the chances of someone accessing your account are slim.

But debit card holders are warned not to let their cards out of their sight at any time and this, after Benoni resident Bev White, lost R4 200 from her personal bank account. (Read more...)


Insurance fraud case postponed


The trial of a 53-year-old Durban man - accused of at least 17 counts of insurance fraud - was postponed to June in the Durban commercial crime court on Tuesday.

Mandlakayise Masuku was arrested early in April this year for allegedly posing as a Liberty Life broker. (Read more...)


R4m RAF fraud trial postponed


A Road Accident Fund (RAF) fraud trial involving almost R4-million failed to get under way in the Durban Regional Court on Monday because one of the accused didn't turn up, and because of poor preparation on the part of a defence advocate.

Magistrate Trevor Levitt adjourned the case until Wednesday to allow legal representatives of the accused more time to prepare for the trial. (Read more...)




South African 'Scorpions' boss to join World Bank


The head of South Africa's Scorpions crime-fighting unit, Leonard McCarthy, was appointed Monday to lead the World Bank's anti-corruption department, a day after the South African government said it would disband the unit.


World Bank President Robert Zoellick, in a statement, said South African President Thabo Mbeki had agreed to release McCarthy from service to take up the position as vice president of the bank's Department of Institutional Integrity on June 30. (Read more...)


'Place scorpions under two ministries'


Judge Sisi Khampepe supports the continued existence of the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), but under two ministries, instead of the current one.

According to her Commission of Inquiry report into the DSO, known as the Scorpions, released on Monday, she also criticised them and the police for behaviour that could undermine crime fighting, and even undermine state security. (Read more...)


Still no measures against feeding scheme officials


THE Eastern Cape education department has yet to finalise the disciplinary hearings of eight senior officials who were implicated in the collapse of the multi-million rand school nutrition programme in 2006.


Although Education MEC Johnny Magkato said early this year the hearings for the suspended officials would be finalised by April, provincial spokesman Loyiso Pulumani has conceded the process is incomplete.


The programme, which fed about a million pupils from 5000 schools across the province daily, ground to a halt following a forensic report by a Durban firm in August, 2006. (Read more...)

Director wants houses back after dodgy Nedbank auction


The director of a property development company who alleges that he was defrauded by Nedbank and his company's joint liquidators wants all 137 properties sold to the bank for a nominal value of R750 each to be returned to the company. (Read more...)





Mbeki's govt sounds death knell for Scorpions


President Thabo Mbeki's government has approved the disbanding of the elite Scorpions crime-fighting unit, bowing to pressure from supporters of rival Jacob Zuma who accused it of political abuse.

Mbeki's Cabinet adopted two Bills last week paving the way for the end of the Directorate of Special Operations, commonly known as the Scorpions, and the creation of a new unit within the police, the Sunday Times reported. (Read more...)


Whistle-blower in Kara bribery case ‘fears for his life’


The man who blew the whistle on FC AK boss Aziz Kara for alleged bribery and corruption fears for his life.

Mpumalanga Black Aces player Michel Babale has received threats for the past couple of weeks.

While the keeper wouldn’t talk about the threats, Aces team manager Thabo Moroape confirmed Babale had received warnings. (Read more...)




Probe into dodgy 'immune booster'


Cosatu and the ANC Women's League have climbed into bed with a trio of business people punting an untested "immunity booster pack" for HIV/Aids sufferers and who are being investigated for fraud.

Imuniti Holdings, founded by Jan Gouws, John Ellis and Hans Wessels, was listed on the Johannesburg Alternative Stock Exchange (Alt-X) in December 2006. (Read more...)


Thieving lawyers to be struck off roll


Scores of lawyers, many of them practising in Gauteng, are likely to be struck off the roll for stealing clients' funds.

According to Jan van Rensburg, president of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, about R11,6-million a year has been stolen in the past five years by attorneys in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West, which all fall under the society's jurisdiction. (Read more...)




The Selebi letter Mbeki wants to hide


Suspended prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli was instructed by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Brigitte Mabandla, acting on President Thabo Mbeki’s orders, to cancel the Scorpions’s investigation of police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Pikoli was told in a letter sent to him last September that he must cease the investigation and possible prosecution on corruption charges of the police boss. (Read more...)




Shocking state of the SAPS


Non-existent planning, inadequate training and rampant corruption are fatally weakening the South African Police Service’s battle against crime.

These are some of the findings of a council of 14 retired police commissioners, appointed by police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi in 2006 to advise him on the state of the SAPS and the country’s crime-fighting capabilities.

The Mail & Guardian obtained a copy of the council’s confidential report, handed to Selebi at the end of last year. Until now it has not been made public and Selebi is yet to say a word about his former colleagues’ damning findings. (Read more...)


A 'rudderless police service'


Up to 10% of all policemen in South Africa are either criminal or corrupt and these problems are systemic and entrenched in all police stations, says Cape Town criminologist Liza Grobler.

Cops across the country interviewed by Grobler told her that criminality in the police is "chronic" and occurs "in every unit and in every police station".

Grobler, who now lectures at City Varsity in Cape Town, found that the low morale in the South African Police Service impacts hugely on corruption. (Read more...)


Taxman to replace Selebi?


South African Revenue Service commissioner Pravin Gordhan has been asked to consider becoming South Africa’s next police boss.

If he were to agree and be appointed by President Thabo Mbeki, Gordhan could take over the reins from embattled police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi before the end of June. (Read more...)





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