'Miracle' man guilty of scamming teacher out of R600k, claimed he could 'cleanse' it into R30m

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A man has been found guilty of scamming an Eastern Cape teacher into handing more than R600 000.
A man has been found guilty of scamming an Eastern Cape teacher into handing more than R600 000.
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Mlungisi Booi, 44, was convinced to resign from his teaching job and to withdraw his R1m pension - he parted with more than half of it.
  • Within two weeks of the payout, the scammer convinced Booi to withdraw large amounts of cash and hand it over for "miracles".
  • He had convinced Booi that the money would be multiplied into R30m in no time if he allowed him to keep it for a cleansing ritual.

A man who tricked an Eastern Cape teacher into handing more than R600 000 to him with a promise of turning it into R30 million with "miracles", has been found guilty of fraud.

The Port Elizabeth Specialised Commercial Crimes Court found Bashir Lauw Kasenjera, an illegal Malawian national, guilty of defrauding Motherwell teacher Mlungisi Booi of R669 000 in 2018.

Kasenjera was further found guilty of corruption under the Contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (POCA), Contravention of the Immigration Act and Contravention of the Consumer Protection Act.

He had also tried to bribe detectives with R100 000 to secure his release.

READ | Hawks arrest man for 'scam targeting the elderly'

The National Prosecuting Authority said on Wednesday that Kasenjera tricked Mlungisi Booi, 44, into resigning from his teaching post and to cash in his pension and hand it over so his ancestors could multiply it.

NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said Booi came into contact with Kasenjera in June 2017 after the teacher saw an advertisement in the PE Express newspaper in which a "Professor Anadkat" promised "to work miracles with money".

Advert

Ngcakani said Booi then called the phone number listed on the advertisement which resulted in Kasenjera visiting him at his house in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.

Ngcakani further said Kasenjera introduced himself to the teacher as "Professor Anadkat".

Over four months, Kasenjera subjected the victim to a series of spiritual rituals and persuaded Booi to believe that he had powers and the ability to establish contact between Booi and his ancestors.

"He ultimately convinced him to resign from his employment as a high school teacher and promised that he would cleanse the money so that the ancestors would multiply it to R30 million," said Ngcakani.

"In October 2017, Booi resigned from his post as a teacher, and received a pension lump sum of just over R1.042 million in March 2018. Over two weeks after receiving the pension, Kasenjera swindled a total of R 669 000 from the victim.

READ | 'Cancer con artist' goes to jail

"He convinced Booi to make a number of bank withdrawals and to hand over the money to him so that he would cleanse the money in order for Booi's ancestors to multiply it. Needless to say Booi never received his money back," said Ngcakani.

Arrested

Kasenjera was arrested in April 2018 in Port Elizabeth by Motherwell detectives.

Ngcakani said during the arrest Kasenjera tried to bribe police with R100 000 for his release.

The docket was then sent to the Hawks for further investigation.

According to Ngcakani, senior prosecutor, advocate Lise Keech, said a minimum sentence of 15 years was applicable for the fraud count and 18 years for the corruption count.

"She [Keech] said South African citizens are scammed daily by syndicates, especially the ancestral and black dollar scams, and it was extremely difficult for the police to find and arrest these suspects as they have forged passports; are in the country illegally and use false names, only cash and cellphones RICA'd in the name of other people," said Ngcakani 

Sentencing was expected on 21 August, said Ngcakani.

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