Ermelo businessman imprisoned for fraud

Ermelo businessman imprisoned for fraud

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SM HATTINGH

24 August 2021

Mphethi submitted duplicate claims to the DOE, where he changed the invoice numbers and the dates when submitting the claims. The department suffered a loss of R830 000 on the first entity, and R1997 964 on the second one.

Senyane Alton Seropane Mphethi (55), a former president of a political party an a prominent and influential businessman in Mpumalanga, allegedly lost his presidency status after he was arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for defeating the course of justice on a murder case where he was sentenced for being an accomplice. The accused had a contract with the Mpumalanga Department of Education (DOE), to transport school children in Gert Sibande District Municipality. Mphethi submitted duplicate claims to the DOE, where he changed the invoice numbers and the dates when submitting the claims. The department suffered a loss of R830 000 on the first entity, and R1997 964 on the second one. The matter was reported to the Hawks, and Mphethi was arrested by the Mpumalanga Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in 2015. He was convicted on 31 July 2021 on 34 counts of fraud by the Ermelo Regional Court. On 20 August 2021, Mphethi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he repays R3 million, with the first installment of R50 000 on or before 30 August 2021. His two companies, Ngwato and Barudi, were fined R100 000 each. Asset Forfeiture Unit was involved on the sentence proceedings