Fraud News 2008

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 Fraud News from Africa: November 2008

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uMngeni fuel fraud probe


Allegations of petrol card abuse and possible fraud have emerged within the uMngeni Municipality following a massive 43% reduction in the monthly fuel bill in just one month. During this time, all municipal vehicles were being fully utilised.

DA councillor Pam Passmoor said she discovered savings of about R100 000 when she compared the August and September fleet management reports. Her suspicions were aroused when even the refuse removal trucks, with no change of routine, reduced their fuel consumption by 50%. (Read more...)




'Start uprooting corruption internally'


Suspended head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Vusi Pikoli, believes corruption needs to be uprooted from within the criminal justice system.

Speaking at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conference on corruption in service delivery on Thursday, Pikoli said it was also important to co-ordinate with international organisations in the fight against corruption. (Read more...)


Zuma to know fate next year


The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday reserved judgement in the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) appeal against Judge Chris Nicholson’s "activist judgement" that declared Zuma’s charges unlawful and confirmed Zuma’s inference of political meddling in his case.

Judge Louis Harms said the court plans to deliver judgement on January 12, "maybe a bit later, but nothing earlier". (Read more...)


Nicholson 'misinterpreted Constitution'


The National Prosecuting Authority's appeal to overturn a judgement that African National Congress president Jacob Zuma was unlawfully charged started in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Friday. (Read more...)


State plans court action in organ swop case


Key players in an alleged international syndicate trading in human kidneys - including hospital group Netcare and high-profile Durban medical specialists - will be notified next week that the state is considering pressing criminal charges against them. (Read more...)


Humansdorp farmer accused of R21m worth of fraud, money-laundering


THE financial head of Humansdorp Co-operative Limited, who allegedly swindled R21-million from the farming community, is due to appear in court this morning.


The farmer, who cannot be named until he has made his first court appearance, is facing 93 counts of fraud amounting to R12-million and four counts involving money-laundering totalling R9-million. (Read more...)




Ex-premier's charges dropped


Charges of corruption against former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi have been dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority, according to the ANC.


"The ANC can confirm having received a letter confirming that all charges related to alleged corrupt practices against comrade Ramatlhodi have been dropped," spokes-person Brian Sokutu said yesterday. (Read more...)


Mayor in corruption probe on son's tenders


The mayor of Swellendam, Jan Jansen, is under investigation by the provincial government over allegations of corruption.

Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Pierre Uys told the legislature this week that there had been major concerns in that municipality because Jansen's son was a director of a company that had been awarded several tenders by the municipality. (Read more...)




Beige officials face JSE investigation


Durban - Beige Holdings had identified possible irregular trades in its shares conducted by company executives and had referred the transactions to the JSE for investigation, Mark di Nicola, the chief executive, said yesterday. (Read more...)


Scorpions raid top arms-firm boss


A key person in South Africa's multibillion-rand arms deal has been raided by the Scorpions but the National Prosecuting Authority isn't saying why it pounced on the Illovo offices of Fana Hlongwane, a former adviser to late Defence Minister Joe Modise. (Read more...)




UKZN professor quits amid row


Well-known University of KwaZulu-Natal academic Professor Michael Cowling, 57, on Monday took early retirement amid allegations that he had lied about two masters' degrees he said he had obtained from Cambridge University in England. (Read more...)


Senior staff rip off clinics and hospitals


The heads of senior health personnel at several key KwaZulu-Natal hospitals and clinics will soon roll. Some senior staff are allegedly part of illegal consortia selling stolen state medication and other medical consumables to private pharmacies. (Read more...)


Principal accused of conning pupils


The principal of a Salt Rock home school - who is accused of defrauding parents of between R400 000 and R500 000 in school fees and conning their children out of an education - has been granted bail in Durban's commercial crime court. (Read more...)



Municipal cops are viewed as tainted


Nearly half of all South Africans believe that traffic police are not to be trusted and are corrupt, yet none of the bodies overseeing metro police departments consider corruption to be a problem. (Read more...)


Krion trial must proceed - court


The criminal trail of the alleged masterminds behind the Krion pyramid scheme should proceed, the Pretoria High Court ruled on Monday.

Judge President Bernard Ngoepe said an application by one of the accused, Willem Pelser, to permanently stay their prosecution was "ill-conceived". (Read more...)


Anti-corruption unit targets testing centres


They don't have a catchy name, and when they won an award last week, the presses didn't exactly grind to a halt. But behind the scenes, this anti-corruption unit is hard at work. And you may just be one of 10 000 suspects on their hit-list. (Read more...)


Credit card fraud hits R420m


Credit card fraud cost South Africa R420-million in the past year and has increased by 146 percent, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said on Monday.

"It is a frightening picture, it really is," said Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay. (Read more...)




Court orders VAT fraudster to repay R1m to the taxman


A Durban businessman who was convicted of VAT fraud has been ordered to pay back R1-million to the taxman. (Read more...)



Senior police ‘pushed Yengeni cover-up’


A SENIOR policeman claimed that Western Cape police commissioner Mzwandile Petros ordered a cover-up in Tony Yengeni’s drunk driving arrest, a Goodwood magistrate heard yesterday. (Read more...)




Safa bosses in hot water


Two prominent senior Safa security bosses will appear in the Thulamahashe magistrate’s court today to face charges of fraud.


It is alleged that the two defrauded Cosafa of more than R100000 during a soccer tournament in Mpumalanga in August. (Read more...)




Scorpions to sting ex-Limpopo premier


ANC heavyweight and former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi will face charges of corruption.

This was confirmed on Wednesday night by National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tlali Tlali, who said: "The Scorpions took a decision to prosecute Mr Ramatlhodi. (Read more...)

Officials charged for fraud


Eight people, including five SA Social Security Agency officials, appeared in the Ezingolweni Magistrate Court on Thursday for allegedly defrauding the country's social grant system of nearly R500 000. (Read more...)


MultiChoice staffers probed over R11m fraud


Media group Naspers is investigating four staffers employed by its pay-TV operation MultiChoice on suspicion of fraud.


The four are accused of defrauding Africa’s largest media company of R11m, according to the group’s 2008 annual report. (Read more...)


Matrics given fake exam papers


Eighteen matric pupils may have to repeat this year after discovering that the Ballito school they have been attending is not registered with the education department and that they have been writing fake matric final examination papers. (Read more...)


Millions vanish from Gautrain books


Investigations are under way to unravel how R6,5-million of taxpayers' money vanished - under the guise of land expropriation payments for Gautrain - from the Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works. (Read more...)




Nersa gets audit nod despite irregular spending


THE National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) incurred irregular expenditure of more than R20,2m in the 2007-08 financial year, according to its annual report.


The auditor-general attributed R15,7m of the R20,2m irregular expenditure to Nersa’s non compliance with the procurement thresholds for goods and services. The Public Finance Management Act stipulates the procurement thresholds. (Read more...)


NCOP passes Scorpions Bills


The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday passed the Bills that will amalgamate the Scorpions into the police. They were supported overwhelmingly by the government and opposed universally by the other parties. The figures were 29 votes in support and nine against. (Read more...)




Wheels come off school transport scam


A damning report, kept under wraps for 19 months, shows that Mpumalanga education department officials have been paying millions of rands to service providers in a massive school transport scam. (Read more...)


KZN govt pioneers fingerprint security


The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is the first in the country to introduce fingerprint access to its staff and accounting computer systems in a bid to curb fraud and corruption. (Read more...)


Pikoli ‘cleared’ but state ‘had issues’


PRESIDENT Kgalema Motlanthe last week gave suspended national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli the long-awaited report on his fitness to hold office. It is understood that the report was given to Pikoli for his response. (Read more...)


Sneaky scammers steal SAA air-miles


At least nine people have been arrested in connection with an alleged multi-million rand South African Airways air-miles fraud in a protracted investigation being carried out by the Scorpions and the South African Police Service. (Read more...)


R50m state swindle - Top officials face arrest over KZN tender graft


The police Commercial Crimes Unit is investigating a case of fraud and corruption of about R50 million involving senior government officials and black economic empowerment companies in KwaZulu-Natal. (Read more...)


Blue IQ to be probed after CEO suspended


GAUTENG finance and economic affairs MEC Mandla Nkomfe has instituted an investigation into the operations of the provincial government’s investment arm, Blue IQ, after the entity’s CEO, Nomhle Canca, was suspended last week. (Read more...)




VAT cheats beware


South Africa's taxman is dramatically tightening the net on Value Added Tax (VAT), and arresting a number of its own crooked officials, to combat a surge in fraud that is costing billions. (Read more...)


Permissible deductions are not tax evasion


IT IS nearing that time again when personal tax returns have to be submitted. Manual filing by November 23, e-filing by January 21. All returns must include global income and global capital gains tax.


There are legitimate ways to reduce tax. This is the distinct difference between tax evasion — nondisclosure — and tax avoidance — making use of all that is permissible. (Read more...)





SAA boss in air-miles scandal


SAA boss Khaya Ngqula has been accused of dishing out free rides to a man he hired to spy on his staff.


And the private investigator, who is also contracted by the airline to probe fraud and luggage theft, is sitting with more than two million Voyager miles — some of which have been issued in violation of the company’s policy.


Documents in possession of the Sunday Times show that SAA last month reinstated more than 400,000 expired Voyager miles for investigator Lance Epstein. (Read more...)


Disgraced lawyer accused of fraud


A former lawyer, who was jailed for swindling elderly widows out of hundreds of thousands of rands, stands accused of being up to his old tricks again.


Disgraced attorney Hugh Pollard opened a “legal office” in Simon’s Town after he was released from jail in 2005. (Read more...)




Tax fraud doctor escapes jail term


Relief was etched on the face of a Durban doctor on Wednesday when he was told to do community service and pay a fine after he admitted to several charges of tax fraud. (Read more...)


Fraudsters will be tackled


Taxi operators who plan to defraud the R7-billion taxi recapitalisation programme will be "stopped dead in their tracks" the Department of Transport has warned. (Read more...)


Government in hot water about tender


The provincial government had to part with about R125-million after the province and the National Treasury were found liable for damages a now-defunct company incurred after it had lost out on a government tender.


She said the legal dispute arose from fraud allegedly committed by two provincial government officials both of whom resigned in 1994. They were later taken to court and in May this year they were acquitted, Magwaza said. (Read more...)


More on the new VAT registration procedures


The South African Revenue Service (Sars) implemented a range of additional security measures to safeguard the VAT system from attempted abuse and fraud this week.  The new measures include more stringent verification of applications for VAT registration, investigations of existing VAT vendors who are under the turnover threshold, and a review of risk measures for refunds. (Read more...)




Gumede 'not off the hook'


The National Prosecuting Authority has denied claims by Robert Gumede that it has issued a certificate declining to prosecute the IT bigwig on corruption charges relating to a ­multimillion-rand Telkom tender. (Read more...)


Men bust with thousands of bank cards


Two Nigerian men were arrested on Wednesday in Randburg after they were found in possession of thousands of international bank cards, Gauteng police said. (Read more...)




Waste scandal: DA questions ‘inaction’


A MONTH after a special council committee recommended a number of senior managers be disciplined for their roles in the waste tender scandal, only the Buffalo City municipal manager has been suspended. (Read more...)


Renewed call for arms deal probe


There must be an inquiry into the arms deal and the provision of safety and security for all in South Africa, says the Social Justice Coalition (SJC). (Read more...)


Fraudsters siphon off R3 bln in Welfare money


A forensic investigation has uncovered that “big names” in KwaZulu-Natal have been involved in defrauding the Social Development Department of more than R3 billion of taxpayers’ money in the past 14 years. (Read more...)


Balfour in cover-up – claim


Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour has allegedly told his new director-general, Xoliswa Sibeko, to “squash the investigation” into allegations of tender fraud related to the R200 million prisons catering contract with Bosasa. (Read more...)


Fidentia application halts Brown case


CAPE TOWN — One of the fraud hearings involving former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown has been postponed pending a high court application by him to have all charges against him consolidated or stayed until the entire investigation of Fidentia is completed, attorney Rashad Khan said yesterday. (Read more...)




2 jailed after balance enquiry


Durban - Two men were convicted of fraud and sentenced to jail terms by the Durban Regional Court on Monday for making an automated teller machine balance enquiry with a stolen bank card. (Read more...)


Krion accused claim defamation


The accused in the Krion pyramid investment scheme trial have accused several civil judges, including judges from the Supreme Court of Appeal, of "defaming" them. (Read more...)


Probe into municipal manager


Malalane - The municipal manager of one of Mpumalanga's poorest areas has been locked out of his office and sent home while forensic investigators probe allegations of mismanagement and financial irregularities against him. (Read more...)





Christian company probed for fraud


Nervous investors around the country are searching for millions of rands they ploughed into a Christian-based property development company which is collapsing.


Genesis Property Group operated on “biblical principles” and promised investors financial freedom. But more than half of the group’s 22 affiliated companies have been placed in liquidation, leaving about 600 investors out of pocket — or awaiting promised annual returns of 25% to 30%. (Read more...)




Balfour, the contract and mystery 4X4


Parliament to investigate who paid balance on minister’s luxury 4x4


Correctional services minister Ngconde Balfour received R798006.62 from an undisclosed source to settle the balance on his luxury 4x4 vehicle.


The Sunday Times can today reveal that the amount was credited to Balfour’s vehicle account held by Kgwerano Asset Finance on October 25 2007. (Read more...)




Chief’s trial postponed


Sentencing in the marathon fraud, theft and corruption trial of Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela’s Chief Nyalala John Molefe Pilane has been postponed to March next year. (Read more...)


Suspended Pikoli cleared in probe: report


An official inquiry has recommended South Africa's suspended chief prosecutor be reinstated, newspapers reported on Friday. (Read more...)




Net closes on Ithala loan directors


The net is closing on the directors of Dolphin Whispers - a development company at the centre of a multimillion-rand loan by the KwaZulu-Natal government-owned Ithala Bank.

Finance and Economic Development MEC Zweli Mkhize has told the finance portfolio committee in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature that a report from a forensic investigation would guide the department in making a decision on action to be taken against parties involved in the transaction. (Read more...)


Expose Land Bank's 'can of worms', says ACDP


A forensic report on suspected corruption and mismanagement at the Land Bank must be made public, the African Christian Democratic Party said on Thursday.

"Land Bank's can of worms needs to be exposed," Francois van Wyk, the party's spokesperson on agriculture, said in a statement. (Read more...)




Star witness too scared to testify


The prosecutor who blew the whistle on a R300 000 corruption scandal says he is too scared to testify against a former colleague charged with the crime.

Terence Ncwane, who is in the witness protection programme, was willing to testify against former Pietermaritzburg control prosecutor Zandile Lorraine Radebe until last Friday, but "now we can only speculate as to what has happened", prosecutor Barend Groen told Durban Regional Court magistrate Sharon Marks on Tuesday. (Read more...)


Tender graft accused on R1 mln bail


Indiza Infrastructure Solutions boss Jabulani Mabaso of Durban appeared briefly in Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption involving the Education Department, and was granted R1 million bail.


The charges against Mabaso, which the court was told involve R270 million, arise from investigations conducted by the Scorpions and relate to a tender awarded to Indiza by the KZN Education Department for the supply of stationery to schools in the province. (Read more...)


Former Fidentia boss suffers another blow


The Cape High Court has granted a final sequestration order on the joint estate of former Fidentia boss, J Arthur Brown, and his wife, Suzan. Judgment was handed down this morning. The joint estate of the Browns was provisionally placed under sequestration in December last year. (Read more...)




Selebi fights damages claim from whistle-blower


Airport security’s smuggling investigation led eventually to police chief’s suspension.


LAWYERS for suspended police chief Jackie Selebi and the safety and security ministry have indicated they will fight a R42m damages claim lodged by former airport security boss Paul O’Sullivan for unfair dismissal and loss of income. (Read more...)


Zuma judge guilty of ‘sheer speculation’


THE National Prosecuting Authority has slammed the judgment that led to corruption charges against Jacob Zuma being dropped, accusing the judge of “sheer and unjustified speculation”. (Read more...)


Tax evader’ tells press about Sars ‘tough guys’


SUPER-rich businessman Dave King yesterday said the SA Revenue Service (Sars) was out to destroy his life and had already reneged on three deals made with him to solve a tax dispute.


“They will destroy lives as a tax collection technique,” he told journalists in Johannesburg. “We need a change at the top at Sars … What we’ve got at the top is an enforcement team. They are not tax officials. They are tough, tough, tough guys.”


In an eight-year-long case that has cost King R150million in legal fees, and – according to him – Sars R245m , the alleged tax dodger is also facing more than 300 charges, including racketeering and money laundering.


King made a two-and-half-hour presentation to the media in Johannesburg to tell his side of the story, in a session that saw the names of former Scorpions bosses Leonard McCarthy, Gerrie Nel and alleged drug kingpin Glenn Agliotti pop up. (Read more...)




How Sars attempted to pre-empt Dave King


How Sars got an unprecedented court application which was turned on its head.


Essentially, what had happened was that the court had fixed July 28 2008 as the date when the trial must finally commence.


So, in a desperate attempt to pre-empt an application, on the assigned trial date, for yet another postponement, Sars applied to the Gauteng High Court three months in advance of the trial date to ask the court to hand down an order that effectively said to King - we, the High Court, are telling you now (in April 2008) that, if you apply for yet another postponement on the date assigned for trial, namely 28 July 2008, we won't grant it. (Read more...)


NPA files notice to appeal Nicholson judgment


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has submitted a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court against Judge Chris Nicholson's judgment in the Durban High Court in September. (Read more...)


Ex Mangaung mayor, wife in court


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


The Free State High Court postponed the matter to December 8 for final arrangements so that the trial could commence. (Read more...)


Another McBride trial theft shock


The theft of personal notes and evidence from the office of the magistrate hearing the drunk driving case against former Ekurhuleni metro police boss Robert McBride will not delay the trial.

Presiding magistrate Peet Johnson; one of the prosecutors trying the case, advocate Petronel du Plessis; and chief magistrate Desmond Nair are adamant about this. (Read more...)




NPA fraud met with silence


Now we know the truth: that almost all sectors of our country have been infected with corruption.


That is, if we take seriously the auditor-general’s report about procurement practices in the National Prosecuting Authority, “State auditors unearth rotten NPA tenders”.


The auditor-general, Terence Nombembe, cited more than R500-million in tender fraud committed by some members of the NPA. (Read more...)


Deal-maker denies he's a scamster


Businessman John Charles Mackay has denied he is a con artist, saying the collapse of deals worth more than R1-billion had caused him nothing but embarrassment and ruin.

Pam Golding Properties chief executive Andrew Golding and executive director Jacob van Niekerk launched legal action against their former schoolmate in the Cape High Court after a joint venture to bring the US coffee chain Starbucks to Southern Africa fell through. (Read more...)




Maureen Clifford weeps after guilty verdict in eight-year, R155m fraud saga


MAUREEN Clifford, the one-time free-spending darling of investment circles, cut a dejected figure yesterday as she wept softly after being found guilty of defrauding those who had at one time sung her praises. (Read more...)


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