Suspects arrested for allegedly defrauding Sasol to the tune of R279 million

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Four people appeared in court for allegedly defrauding Sasol of R279 million.
Four people appeared in court for allegedly defrauding Sasol of R279 million.
File, Netwerk24
  • Four men have appeared in court for allegedly defrauding Sasol of R279 million in 2011.
  • This was allegedly done by bribing an FNB bank manager to issue unauthorised bank guarantees.
  • More suspects are expected to appear in court soon.


Four people, including two companies, appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on charges of racketeering, corruption and fraud that allegedly bagged them a cool R279 million from Sasol using invalid bank guarantees.

The bank guarantees were allegedly obtained by bribing a now former FNB branch manager who wasn't authorised to provide such guarantees.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, Pragasen Reddy, 40, Siviwe Mafanya, 55, Sibusiso Khumalo, 48, and Douglas Rikhotso, 41, were arrested by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit on Wednesday. They were taken directly to court, where they were each granted R15 000 bail.

The accused were also ordered to hand over their passports.

"It is alleged that between January and June 2011, a former Hyde Park FNB manager issued bank guarantees in favour of Lavela Petroleum and Imvuselelo Petroleum and Gas to increase their credit facility to buy fuel from Sasol Oil. The bank manager at the time did not have the authority to issue or approve bank guarantees on behalf of the bank," Mulaudzi said.

'Kickbacks'

Two other people could not appear in court, one due to Covid-19 quarantine restrictions and the other resides in Cape Town. Efforts are already under way to secure the suspect's court appearance in Johannesburg.

Mulaudzi said: "The suspect who is currently under quarantine allegedly formed a joint venture between Lavela Petroleum, Imvuselelo Petroleum and Gas and his own company.

"He did not have any trading deal with Sasol. He allegedly facilitated the fabrication of false bank guarantees by Reddy for the three entities and made payments in the form of kickbacks to the bank manager."

Sasol suffered a R279 million loss as FNB discovered that the guarantees were falsified and refused to honour them.

The accused are facing three charges of racketeering, eight charges of fraud and two of corruption. They are expected to appear in the same court on 1 October.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7650 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 8787 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.19
(-0.10)
ZAR/GBP
21.11
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
19.19
(-0.12)
ZAR/AUD
11.55
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.14)
Gold
1901.55
(+0.01)
Silver
24.57
(+0.10)
Platinum
902.03
(+0.40)
Brent Crude
41.85
(-1.66)
Palladium
2378.04
(+0.61)
All Share
55339.58
(+0.99)
Top 40
50692.28
(+0.83)
Financial 15
10790.70
(+3.99)
Industrial 25
74905.70
(+1.05)
Resource 10
52561.57
(-0.49)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo