Post Bank fraud syndicate sentenced to 1 680 years

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pretoria – Acting Head of the Hawks Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has praised the investigating team in a case involving fraud at the Post Bank for attaining a historic sentencing.

The South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday sentenced nine convicted fraudsters to an effective 1 680 years combined for defrauding the Post Bank, forgery and uttering, money laundering and stealing money from unsuspecting persons’ account as well as racketeering.

Isaac Dithlakanyane, 40, an enterprise owner and the ringleader was sentenced to 50 years behind bars. He was found to have colluded with the other eight Post Bank employees to open six fraudulent accounts and depositing fraudulent pension pay-outs and stolen cheques.

Dithlakanyane stole an amount of R2.2 million from the Post Bank. He was convicted on 76 counts.

Thabang Motaung, 39, who was the branch manager of the Pinegowrie Post Office was convicted for re-issuing Post Bank debit cards for the targeted accounts and withdrawing R574 700 from the accounts and depositing the money into Dithlakanyane’s bank account.

Motaung was sentenced to 28 years for his part in the syndicate.

A teller at the Saxonworld Post Office, Holysnworth Mkhwane, 39 was also sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for his role in withdrawing an amount of R304 450 from accounts targeted by the syndicate.

Mkhwane’s sister, Sylvia Kedibone Mkhwane, 40, who is the branch manager of the North Riding Post Office was convicted on five counts and sentenced to 30 years behind bars for authorising the withdrawal and withdrawing of R467 250 cash from targeted accounts.

Gardenview Post Office teller, Laura Kunene, was found guilty on 12 counts of withdrawing an amount of R530 270 from unsuspecting victim’s accounts and deposited the money to Dithlakanyane’s bank account.

The 49-year-old was sentenced to 28 years behind bars for her role in the syndicate’s modus operandi.

Another teller, this time at the Randburg Post Bank, Vuyokazi Mcence, 38, was sentenced to 28 years for four counts of withdrawing R248 600 from the accounts targeted by the fraudsters.

Teller at Alexandra Post Office, Jack Lesetja Kekana, 38 was convicted on 12 counts for furthering the common purpose of the enterprise by fraudulently withdrawing R532 550 from the victim’s accounts. He was sentenced to 28 years in jail.

Branch manager at the Hillbrow Post Office, Karabo Louis Molefe, 40, was found guilty on 13 counts for his role in fraudulently opening two Post Bank accounts, collecting identity copies of account holders, whose accounts had large amounts of money.

Molefe was also found to have withdrawn R945 769.34 from targeted accounts, and also deposited money into Dithlakanyane’s bank account. 

Thabo Bradley Makaneta aged 49, who played a part in the forgery of documents, was found guilty on 47 accounts. He stole R860 450 and was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

Speaking after the sentencing, Major General Ntlemeza said this was a first in the history of the Hawks. 

“It was a seven-year long intensive investigation. The fact that it was spread throughout three provinces - Gauteng, Free State and North West - made it a mammoth task, but our dedicated investigating team pulled out all stops to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This group was involved in a scam to make money from stealing from innocent people and they thought they could beat the system by continuing with their criminal activity.

“But an extensive investigation by organised crime unit detectives picked its way through the trail to uncover a criminal enterprise,” said Major General Ntlemeza.

He thanked the Postbank Fraud Unit for their involvement, which formed an integral part in the investigation.

“This should send a stern warning to other fraudsters that their days are numbered.” – SAnews.gov.za

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