Man to pay back thousands to provincial Works Department

2012-06-25 00:00

A DURBAN man, Brian Mshentshela (37) has received a wholly suspended sentence of six years imprisonment, coupled with an order to repay an outstanding amount of R431 000 which he stole from the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Works Department.

The money is to be repaid in monthly instalments of R10 000 with the final payment falling due on February 7, 2015.

Mshentshela pleaded guilty before regional court magistrate Jennifer Anthoo on Friday, to theft of a total sum of R1 900 000 in terms of a plea agreement with the state.

In a statement to court he said that between 2006 and 2007, he was the sole proprietor of Siyintoyodwa Business Enterprise CC, which had performed work for the KZN provincial Works Department on occasion. For that reason, the CC’s details appeared on their system.

In November 2006 he’d received a call from a person calling herself “Khanyo”, from the department, who inquired if his tax returns were up to date.

A meeting was set up a week later, at which he was expecting to be briefed on another upcoming job for the department.

Mshentshela said at the meeting he was told that more than R1 million had already been paid into his CC’s bank account and that details of the job “will follow”.

He observed on his cellphone, that R1 900 000 had been transferred into the CC’s account.

Mshentshela said he realised something was amiss as this was not the usual procedure followed by the department. However, he was tempted by the money and withdrew R431 000 of it.

He used some himself and also paid some over to Khanyo and two others, Nelisiwe and Siyalo.

When he was approached by forensic investigators in December 2009, Mshentshela admitted he was not entitled to the money and immediately co-operated. A cheque for R1 469 000 was processed from the CC’s account and paid back to the province.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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