Absa IT heist: Murdered specialist's girlfriend back in court to face music alone

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Xolela Masebeni  and Athembie Mpani.
Xolela Masebeni and Athembie Mpani.
Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times
  • Athembile Mpani is expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.
  • Mpani and Xolela Masebeni were released on bail after Masebeni allegedly stole R103 million from Absa bank and spent it with Mpani.
  • Masebeni was gunned down outside his home in the Eastern Cape in February.

The girlfriend and co-accused of Absa IT specialist Xolela Masebeni, who allegedly stole R103 million from the bank, will face the music alone on Monday after Masebeni was gunned down outside his home two weeks ago.

Athembile Mpani will make her third appearance in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Gauteng, where she is charged with theft, fraud and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Mpani and Masebeni were arrested at the end of January after Masebeni, who worked at the Absa offices in Sandton, allegedly fraudulently transferred R103 million from the bank into six different bank accounts between September and December 2021.

The couple is alleged to have spent the money on luxury clothes, cars and property.

READ | Hawks arrest Absa engineer for alleged theft of R103 million

The couple was out on R50 000 bail each when Masebeni was shot dead outside his home in Unathi Mkefa, Ezibeleni, in the Eastern Cape in February. An unidentified person was shot and wounded at the same property just days later.

According to police, Masebeni was sitting in the yard with four friends when two unknown men accosted him. He stood up and approached the men, and they opened fire on him.

Eastern Cape police said they were investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.

The charges against Masebeni are expected to be formally withdrawn.

News24 previously reported that a third person had been arrested in the Western Cape in connection with the theft after the couple made their first appearance. It is unclear whether that person will appear alongside Mpani on Monday.

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