Fraud News 2008

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 Fraud News from Africa: September 2008

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Land Bank audit report highlights irregularities


THE Land Bank received a qualified audit this year for a litany of irregularities, including placing a moratorium on the collection of loans made to emerging farmers and failing to ensure the business interests of executives were properly declared. (Read more...)


Land Bank head in new probe


The Land Bank's former acting chief executive, Phil Mohlahlane, has been put on special leave while his activities at the bank are scrutinised further by a forensic investigation. (Read more...)


Psychiatrist called in Fidentia fraud trial


A PSYCHIATRIST is expected to testify that alleged Fidentia fraudster J Arthur Brown is unfit to instruct his attorney on how to defend him. (Read more...)




Liquidators seek R840 000 from Yengeni


Murdered mining magnate Brett Kebble's liquidators are claiming R840 000 from former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni in money paid to him by a shelf company in Kebble's stable. (Read more...)


Riena Charles acquitted


Nelspruit - Mpumalanga's former head of health, Riena Charles, was acquitted of all 12 fraud and corruption charges against her when she appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Monday. (Read more...)


J Arthur Brown, Bothma Fidentia cases postponed


The case of the dismissed Chief Executive of the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta), Piet Bothma, and that of former Fidentia boss, J Arthur Brown has been postponed to November 5 in the Cape Town Magistrates Court. (Read more...)


466 done out of RDP houses


Alleged corruption in the allocation of RDP houses has left 466 people in Tembisa homeless. (Read more...)




Metro staff fingered in R31m land scam


Ekurhuleni metro officials have sold themselves dozens of parcels of municipal land in dodgy deals since 2004 that cost ratepayers millions.

Reports on an independent investigation into the deals were handed to an Ekurhuleni council meeting in Germiston on Thursday. Discussion was deferred until next week.

The metro may have lost "a minimum of R31-million" on land deals in the Meyersdal nature area alone, metro manager Patrick Flusk said in a summary of the reports. (Read more...)


Prosecutors to file Zuma appeal


South African prosecutors said on Friday they would appeal against a court ruling that dismissed a politically charged graft case against ruling African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma. (Read more...)


Ex-Fidentia boss, wife in appeal bid


Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown and his wife Susan have petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein for leave to appeal against the second judgment confirming the validity of their arrest warrants. (Read more...)




Mbeki fights back


President Thabo Mbeki, in an unprecedented case in the Constitutional Court, is using the same arguments his rival Jacob Zuma used to win the case that caused Mbeki's downfall, a constitutional law expert has said. (Read more...)




'Nicholson's ruling should be reviewed'


Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson delivered a ground-breaking judgment on September 12 on the application by Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the president of the ANC, to have a decision by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (the NDPP) to prosecute him on 18 counts? including charges of corruption, racketeering, money laundering and fraud? declared invalid. (Read more...)


Ex-Avusa staffer may plead guilty


FORMER Avusa Media Ltd payroll administrator Laurence van Tonder, who allegedly defrauded his employer of more than R5-million, is expected to enter a guilty plea when he appears in court again in November. (Read more...)




Rubber cheque man bounces back for more


A PORT Elizabeth man has qualified as one of the world‘s dumbest criminals after he was lured back into a shop where he had issued a dud cheque by staff who enticed him to spend more.


When he took up the offer two days later, police were waiting at the store to arrest him. (Read more...)




Mbeki: No interference in NPA


Johannesburg - President Thabo Mbeki denied any interference in the National Prosecuting Authority's decisions when he announced his resignation on Sunday night. (Read more...)





R30-million fraud accused bids for bail


The Durban Commercial Crime Court has heard of the lavish lifestyle of a Gauteng businessman who is facing fraud charges totalling nearly R30-million.


Dharmesh Mohan Dullabh, 38, who was arrested in Johannesburg earlier this month, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is applying for bail. (Read more...)


Swedes join arms probe


Amid demands for a judicial inquiry into the arms deal, the Mail & Guardian has learned that a new front has opened up in the international investigation of the South African transaction.


Christer van der Kwast, director of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told the M&G he opened an investigation into the sale of Saab Gripen fighters to South Africa "about three months ago". (Read more...)



South Africa to drop charges against French arms firm


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African prosecutors said on Thursday they would provisionally withdraw charges against a French arms company connected with the corruption case against ANC leader Jacob Zuma, thrown out by a judge last week. (Read more...)

Mayor Mekgwe's hot potato


handed the hottest potato of her political career when she receives a report of alleged wrong-doing among African National Congress (ANC) councillors and senior officials in the municipality. (Read more...)


Convictions down for many crimes


CONVICTION rates are down in two-thirds of crimes ranging from murder to business rob-beries, according to the 2007-08 police annual report released in Parliament yesterday.


The only categories that showed an increase in conviction rates were cash in transit robberies, bank robberies, fraud, shoplifting, stock theft and property related crimes. (Read more...)


M&G vindicated by ombud ruling


Press ombudsman Joe Thloloe has confirmed that the Mail & Guardian was correct in revealing that a convicted embezzler is the international business associate of a proposed marine farming project in the Coega industrial development zone. (Read more...)




KZN Ezemvelo board suspended


The entire board of KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife had been suspended, KwaZulu Natal agriculture and environment MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu announced on Thursday. (Read more...)


Wheels come off R40m tyre contract


The Cape High Court has set aside a R40-million tender which the City of Cape Town awarded to tyre company Themba Tyres.

The contract was for the supply of tyres and tubes for the city's fleet of vehicles.

A rival bidder lodged an application seeking reallocation of the tender on grounds that Themba was a front for a Paarl firm, Kilotreads. (Read more...)


Lawyers up for graft


A young thief's bid to keep his record clean has landed him, and two Legal Aid Board lawyers, in the dock.

The three have been charged with corruption after allegedly trying to bribe a police court orderly at the Randburg magistrate's court to make an SAP69 form - a document used to log criminal records - disappear. (Read more...)


Yengeni to be freed


Former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni's parole will end next week, SABC news reported on Thursday.

Yengeni was found guilty in 2004 of fraud and corruption relating to the multi-billion rand arms deal, but entered jail only in 2006, after an unsuccessful appeal against his four-year sentence. (Read more...)


Zuma prosecution justified: Pikoli


Suspended National Director of Public Prosecutions head, Vusi Pikoli says the decision to prosecute ANC President Jacob Zuma was based purely on legal grounds, and not political ones. Pikoli says following the Schabir Shaik fraud and corruption convictions in 2005, the NPA had no alternative. (Read more...)


Rates fraud valuator punished


The company contracted by the eThekwini Municipality to revalue properties for determining rates has been caught up in a corruption scandal. (Read more...)


Big Brother IT spider web is coming


CREDIT vetting company Trans-Union and the SA chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners plan to set up a "world-first" spider web of connected data bases to foil people who commit fraud.


Trans Union director Chris van Rensburg told the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners conference in Sandton yesterday that a number of data bases covering virtually the entire population of SA will be connected to filter out fraudsters. (Read more...)


Fraud accused argue for withdrawal of case


DEFENCE lawyers for five senior Department of Health officials accused of fraud yesterday argued for their case to be withdrawn, citing what they said were deliberate delays in court proceedings by the State. (Read more...)





Prosecutors to appeal Zuma verdict


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will appeal a court decision quashing corruption charges against Jacob Zuma.


The dismissal of the charges on a technicality cleared the way for Zuma, who toppled Thabo Mbeki as ANC leader in a fiercely contested race last year, to succeed his rival in next year’s election. (Read more...)


Tender tussle


LAW-ABIDING business owners who tender for government contracts will continue to lose out to criminal contractors who bribe officials or carry out fronting in order to get contracts while a government register, to name and shame corrupt contractors, is yet to take on a single listing.


The Register for Tender Defaulters was set up under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and was launched in 2005. Yet three years after it’s launch, it is yet to record a single entry in the registry. (Read more...)


R50m sticker put on Fidentia offices


Cape Town - The "lavishly decorated" Cape Town headquarters of the Fidentia group are to go under the hammer on October 8, auctioneers Alliance Group announced on Wednesday. (Read more...)


Super Group moves to calm liquidity jitters


SUPER Group CEO Larry Lipschitz yesterday moved to dispel investor fears about the company’s solvency and liquidity, but conceded the transport and logistics group faced the toughest period in 21 years. (Read more...)




BCM director wants job back after quitting


Former Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) director of community services Wendy Maqekeza-Galada, who resigned in the  wake of the city’s R28 million waste management tender  scandal, now wants her job back. (Read more...)


Gauteng sues hospital builders


THE Gauteng public transport, roads and works department yesterday decided legal actions needed to be taken against a joint venture of contractors to recover losses suffered after the companies failed to complete building the Jabulani hospital in Soweto, the provincial government said yesterday. (Read more...)


Joseph ‘used dummy invoice‘ to mislead Lotto


A “DUMMY” invoice was drafted to create the impression to the National Lottery Board that R1718775 in grant money for the Eastern Province Rugby Football Union had been spent according to the application agreement, the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court has heard.


Former EPRFU chief executive officer Phillip Joseph has pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud involving R414568 in national lottery money. (Read more...)




Fidentia’s 47000 victims due 30c in rand


FIDENTIA’s real victims — 47000 claimants, the bulk of whom consist of widows and orphans from the Living Hands Trust — can expect at present to get just 30c for every rand they invested, according to curators. (Read more...)




De Lille to call for arms deal commission


Independent Democrats' president Patricia de Lille will submit a motion to parliament on Monday requesting a commission of inquiry into the arms deal. (Read more...)


Vehicle testing station shut down


The department of transport has closed down the Durban Roadworthy vehicle testing station after a vehicle examiner recently pleaded guilty to 42 counts of fraud and corruption. (Read more...)




Bheki Jacobs: Blew the lid on arms-deal corruption


Bheki Jacobs, who has died in Cape Town at the age of 46, was an ANC spy and the key source of information about corruption in the arms deal.


Patricia de Lille used his information in parliament in 1999 when she blew the lid off the saga of kickbacks and caused an immediate national outcry. (Read more...)




Zuma wins court application


The Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled on Friday that the decision to prosecute ruling party leader Jacob Zuma on fraud and corruption charges was invalid.

Judge Chris Nicholson said: "...I believe the NDPP [National Directorate of Public Prosecutions] ought to have heard the applicant's representation." (Read more....)


Tigon accused turn to court for legal aid


TIGON CEO Gary Porritt and fellow director Sue Bennett have turned to the Johannesburg High Court in a bid to obtain legal aid after two requests to the Legal Aid Board failed because they failed the required means test. (Read more...)




Accident fund fraud accused appear


Seven men appeared in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday in connection with accident fund fraud, Gauteng police said. (Read more...)




Gautrain agency to scrutinise BEE partner iLima’s papers


THE Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) call for an investigation into the participation of iLima Projects in the Gautrain project has been heeded by the Gautrain Management Agency. (Read more...)


Hofmeyr defends Scorpions’ pedigree


CAPE TOWN — Only nine of the 300 investigators in the Scorpions had served in apartheid security agencies, and their loyalty to the new democratic order could not be questioned, deputy national director of public prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr said yesterday. (Read more...)




Sentula orders more forensic probing, mulls legal action


Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed coal company Sentula on Tuesday ordered more forensic probing of "irregular transactions", hot on the heels of the forensic auditors completing an initial investigation. (Read more...)


Deadline set for corruption report


The Scorpions have until October 9 to update the KwaZulu-Natal government on progress made with the prosecution of officials mentioned in a forensic report on the affairs of the agriculture and environmental affairs department. (Read more...)


About 300 000 irregular grants removed


A total of 333 233 irregular social grants worth an annual R1-billion have been removed from the system in the past three years, Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya said on Tuesday. (Read more...)


Businessman challenges Scorpions


The Scorpions did not have a legislative mandate to probe foreign exchange offences, the Cape High Court was told on Tuesday.

The court is hearing an application against the unit by Cape Town businessman Gary van der Merwe, who was arrested at Cape Town International Airport in 2004 as he tried to take just about R1-million out of the country. (Read more...)


Broker accused of R80m fraud


A Johannesburg-based investment broker, who is alleged to have been on the run from police investigating allegations that he had operated a multimillion-rand pyramid-type scam, has been nabbed.

Dharmesh Dullabh, 38, who ran his business, Mohan Securities, from his Oakdene, Johannesburg, home, appeared in Durban's special commercial crime court on Monday. (Read more...)




Scores of municipalities under probe


More than 40 municipalities in three provinces are under investigation for corruption, the Ministry of Provincial and Local Government revealed on Monday in a written response to a Democratic Alliance question. (Read more...)


Fraud allegations in Cape R40m tyre tender


An unsuccessful bidder in a R40 million tyre tender in the City of Cape Town, Erasmus Tyres, says companies that front in order to secure contracts must be exposed. (Read more...)


Land Bank loses R41m in ‘bungled’ rate swap


Bank ‘ignored warnings’ that transactions were speculative.


The Land Bank has suffered huge losses totalling hundreds of millions of rands from speculative trading, debt write-offs, theft and fraud. (Read more...)


Ex-mayor’s case ditched


A former Mpumalanga district mayor, Jerry Ngomane, had his theft case thrown out of court after his lawyers successfully applied for his acquittal. (Read more...)


NPA official in dock for fraud


A senior National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) official in Kimberley is facing criminal charges for allegedly making false travel and subsistence claims to the law-enforcement agency. (Read more...)




Lawyer admits to bribing prosecutors


A Johannesburg-based lawyer on Thursday admitted to "acting as a conduit" to bribe two prosecutors to make a R50-million drugs trial go away. Besides the cash, he also promised them jobs as magistrates. (Read more...)


Costly projects left incomplete


A furious ANC-led committee in the eThekwini Municipality has called for a forensic investigation into at least two parks, leisure and cemeteries department projects on which hundreds of thousands have been spent, but work has yet to be completed. (Read more...)


USAASA CFO resigns


Universal Service and Access Agency of SA (USAASA) CFO Keith Keys has resigned, following a disciplinary hearing which found him guilty of financial mismanagement. (Read more...)




Sars employees get 15 years for fraud


Two South African Revenue Services employees and their two accomplices were on Thursday jailed for 15 years each after defrauding the taxman of nearly R500 000. (Read more...)


Kenya Prime Minister Orders Probe Into State Pension-Fund Fraud


Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga ordered an investigation into allegations of fraud and nepotism at the state pension fund and backed a decision to send the managing trustee on immediate leave. (Read more...)


Businessman pleads guilty to web fraud


A PORT Elizabeth businessman who garnered funds through a bogus internet company and also posed as an estate agent, pleaded guilty in the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court yesterday. (Read more...)


Principals accused of stealing R1,4m


Two deputy principals of a farm school near Mafikeng in North West have been suspended on full pay for allegedly stealing R1,4 million meant for school equipment and renovations. (Read more...)




BCM manager resigns after scandal


A SENIOR manager in the city has resigned in the wake of a waste tender scandal. Buffalo City Municipality (BCM)’s director of community services, Wendy Maqekeza-Galada, tendered her resignation yesterday. (Read more...)


Investment scheme trio in court


FORMER advocate and convicted fraudster Lionel Jacobs has appeared in the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court on 393 counts of fraud amounting to nearly R7-million.

Jacobs, who moved to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth shortly after being convicted of fraud in 2001, appeared on Monday with co-accused Dean Brophy and John Billet in connection with a bogus investment scheme. (Read more...)




Prof to answer to corruption charge


Former University of KwaZulu-Natal dean Prof Pumela Msweli-Mbanga will have to answer to a charge of corruption after she failed in her attempt to have a damning forensic audit declared inadmissible as evidence against her. (Read more...)


N$4m pension fund fraud case to High Court


THE case in which eight people are charged with having run an allegedly crooked multi-million-dollar loan scheme with a local authorities pension fund administered by Alexander Forbes Financial Services has been split in two, with six of the accused referred to the High Court for trial and the other two set to face charges in the Windhoek Regional Court. (Read more...)




Travelgate accused awaits judgment


The Cape Town Regional Court is to pass judgment on Tuesday in an application launched by former ANC MP, Mnyamezeli Booi, for the postponement of his fraud trial in the so-called Travelgate scam. (Read more...)


Mushwana defends decision to fire CEO


The Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana has defended his decision to fire the CEO of his office, Raynauld Russon in May for financial irregularities. This comes after calls from the Democratic Alliance (DA) for further investigations into the operations of Mushwana’s office. (Read more...)


'We will kill the Scorpions'


Johannesburg - A top official of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has warned that the African National Congress will not hesitate to "kill" the Scorpions if they continued to pursue ANC president Jacob Zuma, the Sowetan newspaper reported on Monday. (Read more...)




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