3 Held for opening false robbery case

2017-01-18 06:02

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman has been arrested after allegedly opening a false case, claiming she had been robbed of money meant for the poor.

The 43-year-old Pinky Nxumalo was arrested with her 89-year-old husband, Zonduyise Nxumalo and a relative, 43-year-old Siyabonga Ngwane. They made a brief appearance at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court last Friday.

The three were all remanded in custody until 20 January.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said the suspect, with three other members of Inhluthela Community Project, had withdrawn R230 000 from the Department of Social Development.

“One member was instructed to go to Edendale Hospital and the other was instructed to go to the Game store. The two remaining members then went to Capital Centre.

“The member, who was keeping the money, then pretended to be having menstrual pain.

“She instructed the other member to go and buy her sanitary towels and she went to the toilet. When the other member came back, she claimed she had been robbed,” he said.

Ngobese said the two then went to Pietermaritzburg police station to open a case. He said when police interviewed them, they “could see that something was not adding up”.

A team of six detectives, three members of the Pietermaritzburg tracing team and three other detectives, was formed to probe the case.

“After thorough research, the truth came out. After interrogation, they admitted­ that it was a planned robbery.”

The money was recovered from a relative, Ngobese said.

He said cluster commander Major-General Phumelele Makoba had been disappointed by the “behaviour of people wanting to steal from state money that is aimed at upgrading people’s lives”.

“They wasted resources and the time of the police with stealing money aimed at enhancing service delivery.

“This will send a clear message to members of the public, who are thinking of committing similar crimes, that the perpetrators will be brought to book,” said Ngobese.

Social Development spokesperson Vukani Mbhele said the department trains organisations how to manage funds before giving out any money.

“This is concerning. At the end of the financial year, they will have to account on how they used the funds. If we pick up something amiss, we will take appropriate action,” he said.

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