Corrupt prison official gets jail time
Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal prison official was jailed for eight years on Tuesday for defrauding the government of R1.126m over five years.
Pietermaritzburg Regional Court Magistrate Chris van Vuuren said the fraud by Vuleyise Vincent Ngcobo, 53, was carefully planned.
The nature of the crime and his lack of remorse overrode factors such as his age and his 32 years' service in the correctional services department.
Ngcobo worked at Sevontein Prison, a farm prison that produces food for prisons, where he supervised prisoners' cash and claims to the department.
Prisoners are paid for the farm work they do.
Van Vuuren said serious corruption, fraud and theft from the government by civil servants were getting out of control despite pleas from senior officials to desist.
That it had been deemed necessary to implement an anonymous call hot-line to report such matters indicated the depth to which some government officials had sunk.
Soft sentences for such convicted persons would not alleviate the situation, he said.
Ngcobo has lost everything through an application brought by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.