Durban man ordered to pay back eThekwini Municipality for EPWP scandal

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  • A Durban man has been sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence for defrauding the eThekwini Municipality.
  • He was found to have convinced a group of EPWP workers to open bank accounts while he kept the cards and PINs.
  • He has been ordered to pay back the municipality more than R280 000.

An eThekwini Municipality employee has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment, suspended for five years, for defrauding the municipality of around R400 000.

Robert Nkosi was found to have pocketed funds for the payment of Extended Public Works Programme workers, and the Durban Magistrate's Court has ordered him to pay back R280 090.

Nkosi was handed the sentence after pleading guilty to the charges following his arrest by the National Clean Audit Task Team, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

"It is alleged that in 2018 an official (employee) of the eThekwini Municipality misrepresented to the members of the public that he had secured a tender with eThekwini Municipality and recruited them to be his employees at the tender project. The said official further informed them that as a requirement to the municipality he must provide proof that he had staff members and all [should] have bank accounts," Mogale said.

He was found to have taken them to Pietermaritzburg to open bank accounts, Mogale said.

"In Pietermaritzburg, he convinced the alleged employees that he would have to take their bank cards and PIN codes with him to produce same to the municipality. He also instructed all of them to use one cellphone number as their contact number when opening the accounts and at the same time gave all of them R1 000 each to open the accounts," Mogale said.

READ | Respected but suspended: Eskom's Solly Tshitangano faced similar misconduct charges in 2005

Two weeks later, the municipality paid out R31 000.

In paying back R 280 090 to the eThekwini Municipality, Nkosi must pay R 4 235 by 10 May.

Nkosi's co-accused Enoch Mthethwa, who was sentenced on 17 May 2020, was ordered to pay back R6 800 to the municipality. Dumisani Nxumalo, who was sentenced on 3 December 2019, was ordered to pay back R67 564.70 to the eThekwini Municipality.

The case has been postponed to Wednesday for the remaining three accused Andile Nthangase, Bongani Ntshangase and Xolani Vilane to be sentenced.

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