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KZN welcomed the 15-year sentences handed down to two of its former officials in the infamous R 7.5 Million staff fraud case that occurred in November 2015.
The convicted women who are in their early 30s were part KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department of (Cogta) supply chain management unit at the time of the fraudulent and criminal act.
The 48 years businessman Max Dladla who received the money was sentenced to 12 years behind bars by the Durban Commercial Crime Court after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering earlier this year. According to reports already in public domain the money was meant for community centre project, creche in the area.
One of his girlfriend from these two sentenced 33 years Nokwazi Patricia Mkhize, transferred the money from Cogta meant for the creche into his account after bypassing the department’s biometrics procedure for settling government invoices.
35 years Hlengiwe Hlela who was Mkhize’s supervisor at the time played part in the act by authorising the illegal procedure.
The convicts splurged the money on clothing, shoes and unspecified luxury items. Upon discovering where the money went by the department, officials apprehended the perpetrators but only managed to recoup R 120 000.00 out the millions lost.
Acting Cogta MEC Peggy Nkonyeni said the sentencing should send a clear message to those who were thinking of committing any criminal act to think twice.
“The sentences are a boost to building an ethical state by eliminating fraud and corruption among state officials as one of the grimy restraints on the acceleration of service delivery to communities,” said Acting MEC.
The sentencing of the two women took place in the Durban High Court on December 5, Thursday.