Court rejects reports in R800 000 fraud case

2014-06-21 08:59
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Mbombela - The Nelspruit Regional Court on Friday rejected a pre-sentencing report from a social worker testifying in a case against two women convicted of defrauding the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (Mega).

Thulisile Nkundla, 38, from Mluwana Trading, and former Mega accountant Thulisile Maseko, 40, were convicted of fraud and money laundering involving over R800 000. They were arrested in 2011.

Nkundla pleaded guilty to fraud while Maseko pleaded guilty to money laundering.

The two appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Friday.

Prosecutor Patrick Nkuna said the two pre-sentencing reports, compiled by social worker Takalani Mathaba, were one-sided and inadmissible.

"You did not consult with Mega, the institution where Maseko worked, to find out how she defrauded them. I know it is not your fault, it could be due to pressure or your workload," Nkuna said.

Nkuna said the reports did not go into detail. There was no information on how the pair used the money. The sentences suggested - correctional supervision for Maseko and a suspended sentence for Nkundla - were not in accordance with the crime.

"I did try to reach even their spokesperson in their offices but was not successful," Mathaba said.

According to her Maseko gained between R100 000 and R150 000 but did not disclose what she did with it.

"She regretted and acknowledged the crime, saying she would take full responsibility."

Mathaba said Nkundla gained between R2 000 and R3 000 for receiving and depositing the money into other accounts.

"I know it was necessary to contact Mega to get more information," Mathaba said.

Magistrate Edward Hall rejected the reports.

"The two played different roles, but their pre-sentencing reports are almost the same.

"For the court to decide on proper sentencing, proper pre-sentencing reports are required from social services."

The court would also need reports on the two from probation officers, Hall said.

The two are out on R5 000 bail each and the case was postponed to 25 July for new pre-sentencing reports to be submitted.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mbombela  |  fraud  |  crime
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