Govt official ‘used office to store millions from illegal scheme’

2012-08-22 15:23

A KwaZulu-Natal government administrator allegedly used his office to store millions of rand he made through an illegal pyramid scheme, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg has heard.

The scheme was allegedly run by arts and culture department Ulundi administrator Linda Jethro Njoko, Zandile Lady-Prince Mathebula, Khanyesile Prince Ngema, Thabo Nxumalo and Petros Mandel.

They have been accused of establishing the investment club, Inzuzu and Inthuthuku Investments, and of telling elderly people their money would be invested in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The State said there was no evidence that money was invested in any reputable institution.

According to court documents, people were persuaded to hand over R300 to the scheme, and were promised it would grow to R1 000 within a week or two.

Police investigator Ariel Moloi alleged that the group operated outside a shop in Ulundi and collected nearly R4.4 million in three days.

Investors were invited into a building where they handed over the money and were given a receipt. No formal contracts were signed.

Motlalekhotso Molelle, of he KwaZulu-Natal asset forfeiture unit, said R3.35m was seized by police in Ulundi and preserved by the court in March.

In February, Njoko and Nxumalo reported that they had been hijacked while transporting R1.3m to Njoko’s office in a car boot.

They said the money was stolen.

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