KZN health dept welcomes sentence
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal health department has welcomed the sentence given to the man who claimed R658 000 from the KwaZulu-Natal health department for work he never did for it.
"The department welcomes the swift justice meted on Sibongiseni Gcwensa, of Gcinisa Construction and Cleaning Services, for fraud and theft of more than R650 000," said health spokesperson Chris Maxon.
Durban Commercial Crimes Court Magistrate N Maphumulo found Gcwensa, 34, guilty after he pleaded guilty to receiving 13 payments from the department.
His six-year sentence was suspended for five years and he was ordered to settle the money he owed the department before the end of November.
The court heard that Gcwensa had paid R500 000 back to the department when he was confronted by forensic investigators recently before he was charged.
He only owed the department just over R158 000.
"If you fail to pay the money before the end of this month you will be arrested," Maphumulo told Gcwensa.
Maxon said the sentence sent a strong message to "all those who continue to defraud the state and the department in particular".
In his affidavit, Gcwensa said the money had been deposited into his account by the department 13 times between November 2006 and July 2008.
He admitted that he used the money even though he had not worked for the department.
Gcwensa said he had a cleaning and security company which both did tender work for the department.
Health department spokesperson Chris Maxon said he had been paid close to R20m.
"The R20m payments are also being looked at to see if they are for the work that he actually did," said Maxon.
Maphumulo said there was no evidence to show that Gcwensa had acted in cahoots with department officials.
"It has not been established that you acted in cahoots with the officials.
"It could be negligence on the side of the department," she said.
Maphumulo said it was wrong for Gcwensa to use the money that he had not worked for.
Health department chief finance officer, Ndoda Biyela, said they would investigate the other payments made to Gcwensa.