Former Department of Education (DOE) accounting clerk, Nomthandazo Delsie Khoza (37) was sentenced for fraud, theft and money laundering on December 11after being found guilty by the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court.
She was arrested by the Hawks’ Nelspruit based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation for Fraud, Theft and Money Laundering. According to Hawks provincial spokesperson, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, between May 2019 and November 2020, Khoza, employed as an accounting clerk at the DoE in Bushbuckridge’s Bohlabela Region, illegally enriched herself and others by more than R3 million. At the time of her crime, she was responsible for payments to ex-employees and deceased beneficiaries.
“Beneficiaries submitted claims for their monies but nothing was received. An official complained was lodged and the matter referred to the Hawks for further investigation. Investigations revealed that Khoza colluded with one of her colleagues to create fraudulent beneficiaries of late employees, channelled payments to themselves and their relative’s personal bank accounts. The value stolen from beneficiaries’ amounted to more than R3.1m,” said Sekgotodi.
She added that when the investigation was completed, a warrant of arrest was authorised and executed in January 2021. Khoza was released on bail and appeared in court on several occasions until she was sentenced on the following 38 counts:
- 10 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years, on condition she is not convicted of fraud, theft and money laundering during the period of suspension;
• In terms of Section 276(1)(h) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, the accused was sentenced to 36 months correctional supervision, subject to house arrest and house detention for the full 3 years of the correctional supervision;
• For her role in money laundering, Khoza was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years, on condition that the victims of her deeds are compensated in terms of Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. The accused was ordered to compensate the DoE at R3000 per month with effect from 01 February 2024 until the full amount of R180 000.00 is paid.
• An order that the state government fund, GEPF, must pay her pension benefits into the Civil Asset Recovery Account.