Uncle allegedly influenced nephew to commit fraud

2015-01-12 20:10

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Cape Town - A man who was allegedly influenced by his uncle to fraudulently obtain a homeowner bond testified against his uncle in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Monday.

The nephew, Wiseman Tsehlana, told the court he was later duped into going to an attorney's office, where police were waiting to arrest him.

As he protested his innocence to the police, and explained his uncle's influence, it turned out that his uncle had already been arrested, he told the court.

In the dock was Akhila Gaji, owner of Siviwe Funeral Services, who has pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg to charges of fraud, forgery and the uttering (or presenting) of forged documents in support of applications for home loans.

Tsehlana told the court that he had to open an account at the Capitec bank, with a R25 deposit, as bank statements were required for home-ownership loans from FNB.

He then provided Gaji with the details of his newly opened bank account.

Prosecutor Ezmeralda Johnson alleges that Gaji submitted an application to FNB for a homeowner's loan in Tsehlana's name, and falsely stated that Tsehlana was employed as the manager at Siviwe Funeral Services, with a monthly salary of R39 890.

Tsehlana said he was never asked by FNB for his salary slip, as proof of his salary.

Gaji told him he knew what had to be done to obtain a bank loan, and that he had already provided FNB with the information required for Tsehlana's loan.

Tsehlana, an informal trader, told the court he liked the house in Somerset West, but could not afford it, and Gaji said Tsehlana could use the loaned money to start his own business instead.

The prosecutor asked Tsehlana why he had allowed Gaji to apply for a loan in his name, if he knew he could not afford the house.

Tsehlana replied: "My uncle said he was willing to help me out if unable to repay the bond, and he said I would get a substantial amount to start my own business."

Questioned by defence attorney Andre Pienaar, Tsehlana said his uncle had offered him a management post at the funeral parlour.

Tsehlana said Gaji had led him to believe that he could easily obtain a bond to purchase the house, as he "was clean".

When he accompanied Gaji to Somerset West, Tsehlana had no idea that the trip had anything to do with the purchase of a house.

Tsehlana said he had never intended to buy a house, and that he had opened the account at Capitec as he needed money to start his own business.

The case continues.

Read more on:    fnb  |  capitec  |  cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

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