IT guru accused of defrauding SSA of over R1m fails to appear in court

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An SSA IT employee stands accused of defrauding the intelligence agency of more than R1 million.
An SSA IT employee stands accused of defrauding the intelligence agency of more than R1 million.
PHOTO: Joseph Chirume, GroundUp
  • An SSA employee accused of defrauding the intelligence agency of around R1.1 million failed to appear in court on Tuesday for the start of his trial.
  • A medical certificate indicating that he was sick was handed to the court.
  • The matter was postponed to 18 July.

The trial of a State Security Agency (SSA) employee accused of defrauding the intelligence service of more than R1 million has had to be postponed after he failed to appear in court.

Thuso Leonard Oesi was meant to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, but he did not pitch up. Instead, his attorney handed a medical certificate to the court.

A warrant of arrest was authorised, but stayed until his next court appearance on 18 July.

Charge sheet

According to the charge sheet, Oesi is accused of defrauding the SSA of around R1.1 million between August 2019 and February 2020. Oesi, who is employed as an SAP system administrator at the SSA, allegedly created fictitious payment advance authorisations to himself for training courses.

READ | SSA employee accused of R1.1m fraud to get IT expert to testify on his behalf

He allegedly did this by:

  • Compiling a request to attend training courses by external service providers;
  • Attaching a copy of a printed approval by the acting head of the intelligence academy;
  • Requesting a temporary cash advance from the finance claims unit using forms appearing to be approved by the acting chief information officer, who was his superior at the time;
  • Requesting that payment be made by EFT into his personal bank account; and,
  • Presenting invoices from the training provider, a form settling the claim, and a request to clear and settle the debt in his name.

The State said Oesi then reversed the payments on the SSA system to reflect that no funds were due and payable by him, and that the courses had been attended.

However, the State claimed Oesi never attended any courses and that he pocketed the money meant for training.

In addition, Oesi, who had a monthly salary of R46 266, allegedly amended the payment system to reflect a net salary of R80 268.71 in January 2020, and then R174 141.21 in February.

He has been charged with seven counts of fraud, three of contravening the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, nine of forgery, and nine of uttering.

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