Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks)

MPUMALANGA – Nine accused aged between 33 and 45 appeared in the Tonga Magistrates' Court and were denied bail. They were arrested at Malelane by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Nelspruit on Wednesday, 13 April 2022 for fraud and money laundering.

It is alleged that the accused, who are former RCL Foods employees and members of the trust, were entrusted to assist farmers with funding and servicing of machinery as well as irrigation systems. It was discovered in December 2020 that the accused allegedly created fictitious invoices valued at R28 million to benefit themselves for services that were never rendered.

The matter was reported to the Hawks for investigation which led to the arrest of the accused. The accused are Phephisa Mike Mkhabela (33), Madoda Kenneth Nkambule (45), Onkie Justice Thabethe (34), Mduduzi Sydwell Nkambule (44), Bongani Justice Mabelane (45), Desire Mzara, Ronald Chihwehwete (42), Yashel Singh (37) and Makgomeng Thato Kgaphola (34).

The matter was postponed to 19 April 2022 for formal bail application.

Source: South African Police Service