Activist faces fraud charge

2009-02-24 00:00

A KwaZulu-Natal rural women’s “champion” is facing charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice after she allegedly reported a false residential burglary and lodged more than R100 000 in insurance claims.

The founder and director of Rural Women’s Movement, Sizani Ngubane, appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on February 16 on two charges of fraud.

Police are collecting evidence to tighten the case against Ngubane following the shocking discovery at her garage earlier this month.

Police spokeswoman Joey Jeevan said Ngubane will be summoned to court to be tried for trying to defraud an insurance company and defeating the ends of justice.

Ngubane reported theft of her household property valued at over R100 000 to the police on February 2, 2009. It is alleged that she then lodged a claim with her insurance company, Telesure Investment Holdings.

A source close to the investigation said Telesure sent an assessor to Ngubane’s premises to verify the claim.

“The assessor was accompanied by police and when we were looking for clues around the house, we peeped through the garage and saw some stuff covered in blankets. We went inside the garage and underneath the blankets we found all the items she had reported stolen.”

Police discovered furniture, computers and electronic equipment inside Ngubane’s garage.

Ngubane has reported more than six cases of theft and burglary in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

In 2006, she opened three cases of burglary and theft at her house in Florida, Gauteng. None of these cases made it to court, as the police declined to prosecute. In 2007, she opened two cases of theft from a motor vehicle and office in Ladysmith and Pietermaritzburg. In 2009, she opened another case of theft at her house in Hilton. Most of the goods she claimed were stolen were household and office equipment. “We have records of all the cases opened in KZN,” said Jeevan.

Ngubane has been released on R6 000 bail and the matter has been referred to the prosecutor who will issue summons for Ngubane to appear in court again.

When The Witness contacted Ngubane, she refused to comment.

“I am not going to say anything to you, just write whatever the police told you,” she said.

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