Former municipal employees sentenced for corruption

Friday, September 1, 2017

Two former Karoo Hoogland Municipality senior employees have been sentenced in the Williston Regional Court for corruption.

The former municipal manager‚ Louis Nothnagel (55) and former chief financial officer‚ Marius Botha (58), together with the owner of an alleged bogus company‚ Ockert Tobias Cloete (65)‚ were sentenced on Wednesday.

Botha and Cloete were each sentenced to five years imprisonment for corruption, four years for money laundering and two years for four counts of fraud, Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said on Thursday.

Cloete was given an additional eight years imprisonment for a separate fraud charge.

“All these were said to run concurrently. Botha will effectively serve five years imprisonment, while Cloete will serve eight years,” said Nkwalase.

Nothnagel was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with an alternative R5 000 fine for contravention of section 173 (1) of Municipal Finance Management Act no 53 of 2003, which translates to negligence or failure prevent corruption.

The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Yoliswa Matakata, has welcomed the sentence against the trio.

“This sentence will serve as a deterrent to all acts of corruption, particularly the public service sector. Those that witness corruption have an obligation to report it. Failure to do so will result in one being prosecuted”.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have arrested six suspects following the theft of money, which allegedly occurred near a Fidelity depot in Blackheath, Cape Town, on Wednesday evening.

Law enforcement agencies were summoned to the scene after suspicion arose when the guards, who were reporting for duty at the cash depot, noticed a discrepancy in the cash register.

The register apparently reflected that there were 13 bags of cash stored by the previous shift. Meanwhile only eight could be accounted for, said Western Cape Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha.

Preliminary investigations on the scene, with the aid of video footage, revealed that the guards who were knocking off had colluded with an unknown number of suspects before signing off.

“They allegedly drove out of the depot with the cash van and in the process, dropped off cash bags from the rear with a black VW Polo following them and picking up the said bags before the guards hurriedly drove back into the yard,”said Ramovha.

The two guards, a male and female, were then arrested while the information of the car circulated.

Law enforcement agencies spotted the vehicle near Beaufort West, where it was intercepted and the two were arrested.

Ramovha said an undisclosed amount of cash was found in their possession. Further investigations led to the arrest of another two people also around the same area, bringing the total number of arrests to six.

The group is expected to appear before the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday to face charges related to theft and possession of suspected stolen property. - SAnews.gov.za

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