Houses: 26 govt employees fined

2008-05-15 00:00

ANOTHER 26 government employees were fined yesterday after they pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court to charges of fraudulently acquiring subsidised houses.

Thirty more are to be charged every month until November in Pietermaritzburg. The accused, charged with fraud, pleaded guilty to lying that they were unemployed at the time.

The employees, many of whom are teachers and nurses, were given fines ranging from R2 000 or R5 000 suspended for six months and 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended on condition that they don’t engage in similar fraudulent activities in the next five years.

The offences were committed between 1994 and 2003.

Cases against some of the total of 37 officials were withdrawn, with recoveries made, and with one official pleading not guilty.

A spokesman for the KZN Housing Department said the employees were nabbed following an investigation by the Special Investigative Unit after the auditor-general’s report indicated that a number of people had received low- cost houses when they did not qualify for them.

Those who were convicted pledged to pay back all the money owed to the state, including interest, within five years or less, he said.

“The offenders will keep the houses as long as they adhere to the conditions in the admission of debt they signed, failing which the suspended sentences will become effective and their salaries will be deducted,” said the spokesman.

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