Fraud News 2008

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 Fraud News from Africa: October 2008

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Hilda’s fraud case on hold


Controversial reflexologist Hilda Khoza has to wait two more weeks to learn if she will go to jail.


Khoza, 41, appeared briefly in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court to face 370 charges of fraud relating to contraventions of the Medical Schemes Act and the Allied Health Professionals Act. (Read more...)


Sentula searching for missing R242m, institutes civil and criminal action


South African mining services and coal-mining company Sentula Mining has uncovered “irregular” activity involving the apparent misappropriation of R242-million.


Forensic auditors have discovered “blatant overvaluation” of equipment, as well as equipment trade-in and equipment sale “irregularities” that match the R242-million, which has left the company through an “undisclosed bank account. (Read more...)




Mismanagement alleged


The Robben Island Museum Council's chief operations officer and chief financial officer, who were both suspended earlier this year after it was alleged that they had mismanaged funds are this week the subject of a disciplinary hearing. (Read more...)


Fake BEE partnership costs J-Bay man R400000 fine


CONTROVERSIAL Jeffreys Bay businessman and lawyer Pieter Hancke, 58, entered into a plea bargain yesterday after having used the names of domestic workers among others to secure BEE deals of more than R900000 with the Kouga municipality. (Read more...)




Municipality’s jazz venture a costly disaster


A FORENSIC report recommending action against the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) mayor and former municipal manager is gathering dust more than a year after it was submitted to council.


The report by auditors KPMG recommends that Mayor Sakhumzi Somyo and former municipal manager Xolela Msweli should be taken to task for approving the spending of about R700 000 to organise two poorly attended jazz festivals in 2006. (Read more...)


Measuring the creature that will replace the Scorpions


NOW that the inevitable has happened and the Scorpions have been legislated out of existence by the National Assembly, how worried should we be about its replacement, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI)?


The central question is about the likely independence of the new unit, and the answer is mixed. (Read more...)


Social Development employees nabbed for fraud


Speaking after 10 suspects appeared in the eZingolweni Magistrate's Court on charges of defrauding the Social Development Department, KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe says he is expecting more employees of his department to be arrested for fraud and corruption. (Read more...)


Pretoria businessman arrested in connection with Brown saga


Prominent Pretoria businessman Melvyn Cunningham has been arrested in connection with the Fidentia saga over allegations that he defrauded minority shareholders of about R130m during the sale of incentive scheme company Infinity to Fidentia. (Read more...)




Dealstream may have stolen 27m Vox shares


Vox says that Dealstream may have stolen 27,3m shares that were issued for the purposes of a share incentive scheme. At the current share price of 75c, this equates to a loss of R20,4m. (Read more...)


Nail these criminals (massive tender fraud in NPA)


The main task of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is to ensure that justice prevails at all times for victims of crime.


Its mission is essentially to prosecute without fear, favour and prejudice and to work with the public to solve and prevent crime.


It therefore comes as a shock that certain officials of the NPA have been implicated in a R500 million scam that involves widespread tender rigging and financial irregularities. (Read more...)



'Guidelines will root out corruption'


Businessman and ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa said the ruling party has to "take a stand" against the culture of corruption.

In an interview with Independent Newspapers, Ramaphosa said the ANC would soon develop guidelines - which were proposed last year - on how its members and leaders in business conduct themselves. (Read more...)


Tax case costs le Roux 'millions'


Former Springbok cricketer Garth le Roux has paid out just over R4-million in legal fees on his tax fraud case, the Wynberg regional court heard on Monday. (Read more...)


Brown granted bail


Former Fidentia boss, J. Arthur Brown, has been granted bail of R10 000 in the Cape Town Regional Court. (Read more...)


KwaZulu-Natal to open register of corrupt officials


The Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal is to introduce a register of public servants who have been implicated in corruption to help ensure they are never employed in the public service again. (Read more...)




AFU, SAPS and Council of Medical Schemes collaboration leads to R47 million asset seizure


The successful freezing of their assets was the result of extensive investigations conducted by members of the Council for Medical Schemes and the South African Police Service.


On Tuesday, 21 October 2008, the Johannesburg Office of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained from the Johannesburg High Court a restraint order against the former managers of Gen-Health Medical Scheme, Jonathan Jason Hall, Shane John Hall and Belinda Maria Neimann.


Assets to the value of approximately R47 million were frozen and restrained. (Read more...)




Council suspends BCM’s top official


BUFFALO City’s municipal manager Gaster Sharpley has been suspended over the awarding of waste management tenders. (Read more...)


Metro invokes defunct law to gag media


The Ekurhuleni metro council invoked a defunct ordinance from 1939 to ban the media and public from a secret meeting about controversial land transactions in the municipality two weeks ago. (Read more...)


Court official held for theft of dockets


A Johannesburg magistrate’s court employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing police dockets and selling them for R10000. (Read more...)


Zuma aware of those involved in arms deal: Lekota


Former ANC National Chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota says ANC President Jacob Zuma is aware of people who were involved in corruption in the arms deal. Lekota was speaking in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg - where some Zuma supporters tried to disrupt the meeting. (Read more...)


S.Africa parliament votes to disband elite crime unit


CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa's parliament on Thursday agreed to dissolve an elite crime-fighting unit accused by some of the political establishment of trying to smear ruling ANC leader Jacob Zuma with a corruption investigation. (Read more...)


Rotten ex-staff pay back R10m


The KwaZulu-Natal department of housing and local government has recovered more than R10million from former employees of the department. (Read more...)




Sentula reckons R242m stolen


SENTULA has provided for R242m to account for stolen cash from the contract mining and coal producing company in what its chairman Sam Jonah described as the worst case of theft he’d come across in his corporate life. (Read more...)


Millions wasted, says prisons boss


National prisons boss Vernie Petersen has strongly criticised poor planning and budgeting in his department of correctional services, saying millions of rands had been wasted on a catering contract and buying TV sets. (Read more...)


10 nabbed for pension fraud


Ten people, including a civil servant and an ex-policeman, have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the KwaZulu-Natal social development department of millions of rands in pension money, a spokesman said. (Read more...)


Judge says prosecutors can appeal Zuma case


DURBAN, South Africa, Oct 22 (Reuters) - A South African judge who threw out corruption charges against ANC leader Jacob Zuma granted prosecutors leave to appeal on Wednesday, dashing ruling party hopes the case against the presidential hopeful was closed. (Read more...)




Walvis man arrested for N$1m fraud


THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday arrested a clearing agent at Walvis Bay for fraud involving N$1 million that was paid to him by a client as value-added tax (VAT) on imported goods. (Read more...)


R2m goods seized at border


Johannesburg - About R2 million worth of stolen and counterfeit goods were seized at the Levombo border post over the weekend, Mpumalanga police said on Monday. (Read more...)


Scorpions stars face their fate


Investigators of the doomed Scorpions were gathering in Cape Town on Tuesday morning to discuss their future as the powerful National Prosecuting Authority faces imminent closure. (Read more...)




Bad metro cops to be suspended


Four Johannesburg Metro policemen will this morning be served with suspension letters after a Sowetan exposé on Friday showed them allegedly taking bribes. (Read more...)


Zuma, NPA to face Judge Nicholson


Judge Chris Nicholson, the man who effectively turned the country’s political landscape upside down with his September 12 ruling, will on Wednesday again face the two legal teams as the National Prosecuting Authority argues for leave to appeal his judgment. (Read more...)


Glenister goes to the High Court


Businessman Hugh Glenister will this week seek an interdict in the Cape High Court to bar MPs investigated for travel fraud by the Scorpions from voting on legislation aimed at disbanding the elite investigative unit. (Read more...)


Matric exam cheats face arrest


A three-year blacklisting and a criminal record await those who have been hired to write exams for their friends, the KwaZulu-Natal education department said on Monday. (Read more...)





Bank and its lawyers roasted for 'negligent misstatement'


The conduct of Absa and its lawyers came in for a roasting by Judge Natvarial Ranchod in his judgment.

Absa had maintained all along that Louis Coetzee, who had signed the guarantee for Rotrax, was not a category A-class signatory and did not have a mandate to sign it.

Ranchod found that the evidence did not bear out the statement by Absa that Coetzee was not authorised to sign the guarantee. (Read more...)





Plea-bargain calls 'upset' Fidentia boss


Former Fidentia boss Arthur Brown has told a court the state plagued him with offers of plea bargains and suggested he change to attorneys who would agree to this. (Read more...)


BCM stops payments to waste company


BUFFALO City Municipality has stopped all payments to the company in the middle of the R28 million waste tender scandal. (Read more...)




Ekurhuleni metro bars M&G


A forensic risk firm that fingered several Ekurhuleni councillors and officials in suspicious land deal transactions has been barred by the Ekurhuleni metro council from conducting any further investigations in the municipality.


Bryanston-based Pasco Risk Management may no longer perform any investigations into Ekurhuleni’s affairs after the majority of councillors resolved that Pasco’s reports on the land transactions should first be scrutinised by an external audit firm. (Read more...)


Gauteng ‘has dealt with graft tip-offs’


THE Gauteng Shared Services Centre (GSSC) has denied the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) allegations that its fraud-busting unit had responded to only seven corruption cases referred to it by the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, saying the cases mentioned were the “successfully" concluded ones. (Read more...)




NW leads in anti-corruption initiatives


Mafikeng - The North West Provincial Government is leading the country with regard to complying with anti-corruption measures.

This was confirmed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) during an Anti-Corruption Summit in Durban, this week. (Read more...)




Behind a R16bn stink


Though management at The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) has tried to downplay allegations of wrong-doing in adjudication processes of high value Government ICT tenders, the recent hasty departure of former CE Llewellyn Jones paints a picture of an institution torn apart by cronyism and corruption. (Read more...)


Clifford ruling again put off


THE long-awaited judgment in the Maureen Clifford fraud trial has been postponed for two more weeks. (Read more...)


Selebi seeks 243 answers


Suspended police boss Jackie Selebi has demanded that the Scorpions answer 243 questions in their fraud and corruption case against him.

In a 47-page request for further particulars, Selebi's legal team have also asked the National Prosecuting Authority to finally confirm and detail the crimes for which witnesses against him have been given immunity. (Read more...)




Staff calls for sacking of council boss


The municipal manager of Molemole local municipality in Limpopo is skating on thin ice.


The mayor, Monica Mohale, has been given less than 24 hours by staffers to suspend her manager Sudan Lethole and corporate services manager Isaac Mogashoa. (Read more...)


'State auditors should speak up'


Public resources should be used to reduce poverty and under-development and to combat corruption on the African continent, an audit institution conference heard on Tuesday.

South Africa's Auditor-General Terence Nombembe, addressing the 11th general assembly of the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (Afrosai) held in Pretoria, said Afrosai's vision was to promote accountability, transparency and honesty in government operations and proper use and management of public sector resources. (Read more...)


Premier says province pursuing R40m corruption and fraud cases


Kwazulu-Natal Premier S’bu Ndebele was two hours late yesterday for his opening address to the province’s two-day anti-corruption summit.


But he wasted no time in telling delegates that the province was carrying a total case load of fraud and corruption charges amounting to almost R40million. (Read more...)




Greedy book-keeper jailed for six years for R900000 theft


AN EAST London book-keeper who absconded during her fraud trial and disappeared for eight months was yesterday sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.


Helya Kreusch pleaded guilty last year to 178 counts of theft involving almost R900000 from her former employer Buffalo Motors Cycle. (Read more...)


Health officials’ trial stops after docket lost


THREE Eastern Cape health officials arrested and charged with fraud in King William’s Town earlier this year as part of a corruption crackdown have walked free – for now – after a State bungle. (Read more...)


Former Mangaung mayor case postponed


The case against the former Executive Mayor of Mangaung Municipality, Papi Mokoena, was postponed in the Bloemfontein High Court, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Monday. (Read more...)


Fidentia's Brown fit to stand trial


The Cape Regional Court ruled on Monday that former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown is fit to stand trial, the SABC reported. (Read more...)




Top officials suspended


Mpumalanga MEC for agriculture David Mabuza has suspended six directors in his department for fraud after fodder contracts amounting to millions were allegedly awarded irregularly. (Read more...)




ANC to tackle corruption - Phosa


Cape Town - Trying to answer the fears and concerns of the white Afrikaner community about the change of leadership in the ANC and government, Matthews Phosa on Thursday evening said that the party was intent on tackling corruption - in particular local government corruption. (Read more...)


How deep is the rot?


Sasol CEO Pat Davies has expressed "profound regret" that the company's European subsidiary, Sasol Wax, colluded in fixing prices with nine other companies.


Cheating spouses also express profound regret when they're caught with their pants down, but one wonders whether the regret is simply because they have been found out, or is it genuine remorse at dishonest behaviour? (Read more...)




Tshwane denies mismanagement


Allegations of mismanagement against the City of Tshwane were false, mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said on Thursday.

"We have not found any evidence of the issues raised," Ramakgopa said in Soshanguve, north of the city. (Read more...)


J Arthur Brown application adjourned


The bail application of former Fidentia boss J. Arthur Brown has been adjourned until tomorrow morning. It went ahead today after Magistrate Jasthree Steyn ruled in the Cape Town Regional Court against National Prosecuting Authority's request for Brown to be sent for mental observation. (Read more...)


Watch out, online criminals are smart


Bank-related Internet crime is the fastest growing crime in the world, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said on Thursday.

"Consumer vigilance has become the most effective tool to fight bank related Internet based crime, which is being regarded as the fastest growing form of crime, globally," said Susan Potgieter, head of Sabric's commercial crime office. (Read more...)




Teacher uncovers insurance fraud


When south coast school teacher, widow Nonhlanhla Khawula, checked her payslip and found an unexplained deduction for R198.50, she was determined to get to the bottom of it. (Read more...)




Krion pyramid scam case drags on


Six years after the collapse of South Africa's notorious pyramid scheme Krion, the seven suspects allegedly involved in the scheme are yet to plead to the 218 000 charges against them. (Read more...)




Kebble liquidators in talks with Yengeni on claim topping R1m


CAPE TOWN — Former African National Congress (ANC) chief whip and convicted fraud Tony Yengeni is in talks with the liquidators of a front company of murdered mining magnate Brett Kebble and the trustees of Kebble’s estate to settle two claims amounting to just more than R1m. (Read more...)


Control takes Dealstream initiative


A subsidiary company of Control Instruments (JSE:CNL) has been granted a provisional liquidation order against Dealstream Securities, the failed derivatives broker.


Control Instruments is one of two JSE-listed companies that lost money in an apparent case of fraud and theft which saw millions disappear from Dealstream clients' accounts. (Read more...)


Financial Intelligence Centre notches up successes


CAPE TOWN — The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) referred almost 1000 suspicious transactions worth about R2bn to law enforcement authorities for further investigation last year. (Read more...)




Shade of Kebble looms over R&E forensic audit


Johannesburg - The ghost of murdered mining magnate Brett Kebble continues to rear its head, giving a headache to many companies and personalities who are alleged to have been beneficiaries of his deep pockets and largesse. (Read more...)


Legal claim seeks R648m from T-Sec


Johannesburg - Randgold & Exploration (R&E), the company that was allegedly pillaged by mining magnate Brett Kebble for his own aggrandisement and that of the JCI group, its subsidiaries and associated companies, has filed a claim of R648 million against T-Sec, a stockbroking firm and a member of the JSE.

R&E has made an additional claim of R80 million against Peter Gray in his capacity as the former chief executive of T-Sec, which was formerly known as Tradek. This and the R648 million are for 14.4 million R&E shares which went missing in Randgold. (Read more...)




Zuma warns Concourt about Mbeki ruling


ANC President Jacob Zuma has warned that a Constitutional Court allowance in favour of ousted president Thabo Mbeki would open the way for him to seek the scrapping of all negative references to himself from court cases he was not party to.

This would include references to his relationship with his former financial adviser, convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik. (Read more...)




'Man of straw' can't pay debt


Durban businessman Robin Thorpe drives a R2,5-million Bentley and went overseas three times in one year but, he protests, he is a "man of straw" and cannot pay his mounting debts.

But now Judge Phillip Levinsohn, sitting in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, has ordered the provisional liquidation of his estate to allow a full interrogation of his financial affairs. (Read more...)


TAU wants Xingwana fired over bank mess


THE Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) has called on President Kgalema Motlanthe to sack Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana following this week’s revelations of a breakdown of governance at the Land Bank. (Read more...)


Caretaker CEO turns Land Bank on its head to root out corruption


LAND Bank caretaker CEO Phakamani Hadebe took drastic steps to halt huge continuing losses totalling hundreds of millions of rands from debt write-offs, theft and fraud when he was seconded from the treasury to stabilise the bank earlier this year, he told Business Day yesterday. (Read more...)


BCM official accused in report


A FORENSIC investigation commissioned by Buffalo City Municipality has found that tender processes were flouted when projects worth millions of rands were financed from a special mayoral fund.


The report by auditing firm Deloitte & Touche found that irregular procurement procedures resulted in the fund being overspent by R7.5million. (Read more...)




Nigeria recovers $3 billion in unspent government funds


Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua said on Wednesday his administration had recovered $3.4 billion in unspent capital from ministries and government departments as part of its drive to stamp out corruption. (Read more...)


More hold-ups for anti-graft body


Mbabane - Swaziland's new anti-corruption commission, sworn in on Tuesday after months of delays, has pledged to crack down on graft in the impoverished kingdom. (Read more...)


Public 'defrauded by certain miscreant MPs'


The Democratic Alliance has criticised parliament's decision to scrap millions of rands of Travelgate debt allegedly owed by MPs.

DA chief whip Ian Davidson has questioned the manner in which this controversial decision was taken by parliament last Tuesday, at a time when all eyes were on Thabo Mbeki stepping down as president and mass resignations from his cabinet. (Read more...)


DRDGold, JCI settle Kebble-linked dispute


TORONTO ( – Embattled South African mining firm JCI has paid gold-miner DRDGold R25,5-million (about $3,1-million) to settle a lengthy legal dispute between the two companies over alleged misappropriation of funds by former DRDGold chairperson Roger Kebble. (Read more...)


Vox anger at Dealstream collapse


“It’s difficult to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” The words are from Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


He might well have been speaking about the collapse of Dealstream, a broking firm that dealt in fancy derivative instruments like contracts for difference (CFD) and single stock futures (SSF).


Dealstream’s demise has left 2 700 investors up the creek, including companies like Vox and Control Instruments that should have known better than to sink shareholder funds into unregulated CFDs. (Read more...)





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