Cops recovered R66m of the funds slain Absa IT specialist allegedly stole, court hears

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Athembile Mpani and Gershom Matomane in court.
Athembile Mpani and Gershom Matomane in court.
  • Police have managed to recover R66 million of the R103 million that was allegedly stolen by deceased Absa IT specialist  Xolela Masebeni. 
  • Masebeni's wife, Athembile Mpani, and her co-accused appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Gauteng on Monday.
  • Masebeni was shot dead two weeks ago in the Eastern Cape.

Police have managed to recover R66 million of the R103 million that slain Absa IT specialist Xolela Masebeni allegedly stole from the bank, the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court heard on Monday.

Masebeni's widow, Athembile Mpani, appeared in court on Monday on charges of theft, fraud and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. 

It is alleged that she benefited after Masebeni fraudulently transferred R103 million from the bank into six different bank accounts between September and December 2021.

On Monday, a dishevelled Mpani appeared in court alongside her co-accused, Gershom Matomane, who wore a suit and crisp shirt. The co-accused is charged with theft and money laundering.

It was the first time Mpani and Matomane appeared in court together after the latter was arrested in the Western Cape while attending another fraud matter. 

READ | Third suspect in R103m Absa theft arrested while in court for allegedly stealing R3.4m from Capitec

News24 previously reported that R74 million of the money that was stolen was transferred into Matomane's account. 

The court heard that police had managed to recover R66 million of the stolen money and that some had been used to buy cars in Durban. 

The case against Masebeni was withdrawn during the appearance on Monday.

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. 

According to police, he and four friends were sitting in the yard when two unknown men accosted him.

He stood up and approached the men and they opened fire. An unidentified person was wounded at the same property just days later.

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

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said investigations were still ongoing and that the possibility of more arrests had not been ruled out.

Mpani and Matomane are out on bail and are expected to appear in court again on 12 May.

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