Alleged R6m school feeding scheme fraudsters released on warning

2018-05-11 13:22
Pupils write on a broken chalkboard at a dilapidated school in Mpumalanga. (Sibongile Mashaba/Gallo)

Pupils write on a broken chalkboard at a dilapidated school in Mpumalanga. (Sibongile Mashaba/Gallo)

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Two people accused of defrauding the Mpumalanga Department of Education out of R6m in a bogus feeding scheme were released by the Nelspruit Regional Court on a warning with strict conditions on Thursday.

Nkosinathi Mbombi, 45, and Elizabeth Zitha, 60, face more than 37 counts of fraud, theft and money laundering.

ALSO READ: Feeding scheme volunteers accused of stealing food from school kids

"It is alleged that in 2011 the accused submitted several fraudulent invoices to the Department of Education for services intended for a national school nutritional programme which were never rendered," police spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said.

The two were summoned to court in March after the Hawks' serious commercial crime investigation unit investigated the matter.

"Mbombi, who is an employee of the Department of Health, was allegedly instrumental in recruiting owners of various companies to submit these invoices," Sekgotodi said.

ALSO READ: Tender greed over kids’ food

"The money was allegedly deposited into the said businesses’ accounts, as well as individual accounts, and was subsequently withdrawn and shared among the syndicate [members]."

Zitha, who was one of the business owners, allegedly failed to disclose the money paid to her.

The two are expected back in court on June 4.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  fraud  |  crime

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