Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya: Second public update 2022/23 financial year

Second public update by the National Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General (DR/ADV) Godfrey Lebeya (SOEG): Second Quarter of 2022/2023 Financial Year
Dear South Africans,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning.
Let me start by indicating that a new Deputy National Head (DNH) of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Lieutenant General Siphesihle Nkosi has been appointed on the 1st of this month. Lieutenant General Nkosi, seven (7) Senior Managers and 244 members ranging from junior level to middle management have been recently appointed as part of our continuous quest to fully capacitate the Directorate or the “Hawks”.
General Nkosi has an immense experience in fraud and commercial crime investigation. In addition to several certificates behind his name, he holds a National Diploma in Police Administration, two honours degrees Bachelor of Technology in Policing, and a Bachelor of Laws. He is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Philosophy.
Preceding his appointment was the appointments of the Component Head, Executive Support Services (ESS), Major General J Surajbali; Provincial Commanders for Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (PCSI) in Mpumalanga and Western Cape, Brigadier BT Davenport and Brigadier PL Bergh; Provincial Commander, Corporate Support Services, Brigadier VS Hastings; Section Head, Financial Investigations, Brigadier ML Kgalapa; Provincial Commander, Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI) Northern Cape, Brigadier SC Mojela and the Section Head for Human Resource Management Development, Brigadier M Monyela.
We shall be appointing further five (5) senior managers by the 1st of December 2022 and further three by the 1 January 2023. Should additional ten (10) designate appointees successfully negotiate their Top Secret Security Clearance certificates, we will announce their appointments immediately.
It is encouraging to report that the DPCI has grown to 52% from the last financial year. The process of capacitating the DPCI is continuing.
Today marks our second public update of the successes achieved by the DPCI. From the onset, may I indicate that the DPCI has arrested at least 827 suspects that were successfully secured before the various courts across the country. During the same period, 217 accused persons were convicted and sentenced which earned them a title of being a criminal.
The majority of arrests emanate from Serious Organised Crime Investigation with a total of 524 arrests. The Serious Commercial Crime Investigation component followed with 206 arrests, while Serious Corruption Investigation secured a total of 97 arrests which makes up our quarterly total of 827 for national priority offences. In this brief, I shall only highlight 50 cases which represent 5% of these successes.
Fraud cases, which are investigated by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team recorded the highest number of arrests overall other commodities. They secured 222 arrests across all provinces.
The Serious Commercial Crime are followed by Precious Metals and Diamonds (illegal mining activities) with 126 arrests. The Non Ferrous Metal cases followed with 97 arrests and this involves copper theft, railway line and other essential infrastructure that aids the economic activities in the country.
National and Provincial convictions
Majority of convictions stems from Serious Organised Crime with a total of 128 suspects convicted and sentenced. The Serious Commercial Crime component followed with 74 convictions, while Serious Corruption had a total of 15 suspects convicted and sentenced for the period under review.
Serious corruption
The Directorate has noted that corruption continues to surface as one of the biggest threats posed by criminals on our beloved country. It facilitate illicit financial funds which triggered our response to focus on money laundering charges initiated through criminal investigations. Corruption cases are a special breed, in that they are committed in secret by consenting parties, which requires a lot of digging to unearth such cases.
Although the number of arrests are the lowest from the Serious Corruption Investigation component, it is in line with the number of cases and resources assigned to deal with the phenomenon. A number of other corruption cases are also appearing in the figures of Serious Commercial Crime Investigation. We have made some strides in that front and some of the cases that required high level of meticulous investigation carried out by our team of investigators in rooting out these corrupt elements are mentioned here.
Case 1- Suspects arrested for Winnie Mandela Museum Project
Free State – Between January 2008 and December 2010, the funds that were set aside by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture for the Brandfort Museum project, popularly known as the Winnie Mandela Museum, were allegedly stolen in the hands of the Department and Lejweleputswa District Municipality. The service providers were reportedly appointed without following proper procurement processes. As a result of these irregular activities, the Department lost more than R700 000.
Following an intensive investigation by the Hawks in the Free State, Tsoareli Malakoane (56), Nontsikelelo Eunice Aaron (55), Lebogang Aubrey Sebeela (47), Monyane Matthews Sefantse (53), Errens Lodewikus Celliers (80) and Sithiwe Thubane (47) were arrested on the 20 September 2022. Jan Ham Du Plessis (41) was arrested by the Border police at OR Tambo International Airport on the 14 October 2022. The accused are charged with fraud, theft and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act. The case is postponed to 7 December 2022 at Welkom Magistrates’ Court.
COVID-19 related cases
Case 2 – Mpumalanga Public Works Officials And Company Directors Arrested For Corruption of R1.3M
Mpumalanga – A Deputy Chief Director of Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, Sipho Ronny Monareng (50), has allegedly colluded with his colleagues as well as the company directors during Covid-19 Pandemic and made misrepresentation by submitting claims to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure for the services which were never rendered which prejudiced the department an amount of R1, 38 million.
Subsequently, Sipho Ronny Monareng (50), Macdonald Boto Sigudla Official (43), Bandile Jacob Ngcebo (State Accountant) (41), Maganeleng Antony Mashego (supplier) (43), Whisky Delisa Khumalo (supplier) (45) and Tshidi Suzen Sedibe (supplier) (43) were arrested on 28 September 2022 by Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation based in Nelspruit and appeared before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on the same day of charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
The case is postponed to 19 January 2023 for additional accused.
Convictions
Case 3- Bedfordview: On 01/08/2020 a fraud docket was registered where the complainant was receiving telephone calls of people claiming that her company claimed for UIF Ters money, but that they did not receive any money. However, her Company did not apply for UIF Ters money. An investigation was conducted by the DPCI with the help of UIF where it was discovered that Lindelani Pert Gumede defrauded four (04) companies that he used to do bookkeeping for. The money R11, 183,526.35 received from the UIF Ters was deposited into his business account known as Glotilda. A warrant of arrest was issued.
On 25 August 2021, members of the Germiston DPCI Covid 19 Task Team together with members of Germiston Serious Corruption Investigation arrested the suspect in Durban.
On 2022-06-13 the matter appeared at Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting at Palm Ridge where the accused was found guilty on 32 counts of Fraud.
On 2022-08-18 Gumede was sentenced to 20 (Twenty) years direct imprisonment on all 32 counts of fraud and he was declared unfit to possess a firearm.
This case forms part of the cases coordinated in the Fusion Center of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) as established in 2020.
The following provides an overview of COVID-19 corruption related Incidents and cases investigated as well as recoveries of the proceeds by Law Enforcement Agencies at the Fusion Centre.
As on 16 November 2022, 246 cases were registered and 170 accused persons were charged. 38 court cases finalised with 36 convictions, 2 acquittal which is 95% conviction rate.
May I indicate that the ACTT has already seized and attached assets which are worth more than R1.8billion associated with Covid-19 relief fund. These include, the following:
• FIC: 25 accounts frozen; R274 million
• AFU: 38 recoveries; R320,3 million
• SIU: 26 recoveries; R465 million
• SARS: 22 recoveries; R740,8 million
As you shall have observed, arrests are continuing. As an example, sixteen (16) suspects who defrauded R1.4million, made their first appearance yesterday 28 November 2022 at Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court.
Case 4 – Former Moretele Municipality Municipal Manager in court for tender of over R200 million
North West – On 15 July 2022, the former Moretele Local Municipality Manager, Theletsi Roger Nkhumise (49), made an appearance before the Moretele Regional Court, on four counts of contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). This happened during the appointment of Flame IT Strategy for services in 2016. The service provider was allegedly paid over R200 million.
The next appearance is 12 December 2022 for the outcome of representation made by the defence.
Case 5 – Senior Maluti A Phofung Municipality official in court on fraud charges
Free State – On 31 July and 02 August 2022 Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha (49) Municipal Manager of Maluti A Phofung local municipality and his co-accused who are directors of the security company, Thabiso Sekosana (55) and Dimakatso Chistine Sekosana (29) were arrested on allegations of fraud, corruption, uttering, forgery and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
It is alleged that in 2020, the suspect authorised a service provider for security services without a tender being advertised. It is further reported that some senior officials at the municipality wrote several letters to the suspect advising him to advertise the tender for the security but he failed to do so. An estimated amount of R58 million was paid to the Security Company irregularly for a period of two years.
The case has been remanded to 18 January 2023. The accused are out on bail ranging from R150 000 to R500 000.
CASE 6 – Four suspects arrested for R400 million SA Express tender corruption
North West – It is alleged that during 2014, the North West government embarked on the process to reintroduce commercial aircrafts to the province’s two airports, Mahikeng and Pilanesberg to the tune of R400 million. The North West government allegedly appointed a service provider to render the service but this was done without following the proper supply chain management processes. The irregularly secured agreement is said to have been signed by four accused. The HOD signed on behalf of the Dept. of Transport. The deal was riddled with procurement irregularities and monies were paid for the services not rendered. All companies appointed to do the ground handling services were indirectly owned by one of the accused. The irregularities prejudiced the North West government an actual amount of R253 million.
On 29 and 30 September 2022, four accused persons Tebogo Van Wyk, former HOD in the Department of Transport, Nothando Dube, Sipho Levy Phiri and Thabang Mohlokoleng were arrested in Gauteng and North West provinces. The HOD and three employees of a service provider appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrates court on 34 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The suspects were arrested in Gauteng and Mahikeng on 29 September 2022.
This is one of the cases that were recommended for investigation by the State Capture Commission.
The next court appearance: 01 December 2022.
Case 7 – Municipal manager arrested for corruption
North West: During December 2017, the acting Municipal Manager of Bojanala District Municipality, Mr Pogisho Patrick Shikwane appointed a company called Big Time Strategy to audit information technology services. The Municipal Manager was advised by the Municipal officials not to request an IT audit as the audit had recently been conducted. The acting Municipal Manager insisted that Big Time Strategy, the company that was contracted by the Moses Kotane municipality where he previously served as Municipal Manger must be appointed in terms of the regulations 32 to conduct an IT Audit as it must be done again.
The officials conducted screening on tender documents received from Moses Kotane Municipality and found that the appointment of Big Time Strategy by the Moses Kotane municipality was not in the terms of public procurement process. They further advised the acting Municipal Manager that the company did not required services but the he instructed that it must be appointed and will motivate the appointment at the council seating. An amount of R2,4 Million was paid for services not needed.
The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) found that the company was irregularly appointed by the municipality. A case of fraud under MFMA was registered.
On 2022-09-17 accused was arrested and appeared before Rustenburg Magistrate court on 2022-09-19. The case was postponed to 30 November 2022.
Case 8 – Rustenburg Municipal Manager in court for tender of over R11 million
North West – It is alleged that in August 2017, Rustenburg Municipality unlawfully adopted a contract by the Free State Department of Transport, supposedly in terms of Regulation 32 of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulation.
The Department of Transport had appointed a service provider to render services related to the hiring of construction plant and machinery (yellow fleet). It is alleged that when Rustenburg Municipality adopted the contract, the prescripts of Regulation 32 were not followed, in that, they did not get permission from the Department of Transport before adopting the contract. Additionally, instead of sticking to the original scope of the contract, they deviated and purchased light motor vehicles worth approximately R11 million.
On 2nd August 2022, Nqobile Sithole (39) was served with court summons to appear before the Rustenburg Regional Court on 15 August 2022 for contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) in connection with the alleged appointment of a service provider for a contract worth over R11 million.
The case is postponed to 14 December 2022 for further particulars.
Case 9 – Company Director in court for fraud
Eastern Cape: On 19 July 2022, Christopher Lukope (51) company Director and his daughter Naledi Lukope (22) who is also a sole director in her company appeared in court on 20 July 2022 for charges of fraud, forgery and uttering which took place in May 2020 when the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape awarded a tender of R4 300 000.00 to a company placed in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal.
The company directors purported to be residents of the Eastern Cape by producing falsified lease agreement.
The matter is remanded to 20 January 2023 for trial in Zwelitsha Magistrate Court, Eastern Cape.
Case 10 – Former Municipal Manager and accomplices in court for selling municipal land
Mpumalanga: On the 2022-08-29, three suspects namely Mr Thusi Hezekiel Kubheka- former Municipal Manager, Mr Zwelishe Theron Shongwe- the former Municipality Manager and Mmabatho Masego who are former Msukaligwa Municipality employees were arrested for fraud, theft and contravention of MFMA in selling municipal land to a private person for R53 000 000. The fourth suspect Cynthia Makhanye was arrested on the 07-09-2022. The case is postponed to 05-12-2022.
Case11 – Former KZN Department of Agriculture HOD and Acting Judge arrested
KwaZulu-Natal – It is alleged that in 2016, Siphiwe Mkhize (63)-Former HOD of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Sthembiso Mdladla (62) – Acting Judge misrepresented to a businessman to pay R1 million into a vehicle dealership. Subsequently, the service provider allegedly paid R300 000.00 to the same vehicle dealership and purchased a R1.3 million vehicle that was later handed over to the HOD.
A case of fraud, corruption and money laundering was reported at Hilton police station. Hawks members took over the investigation and the two were arrested this morning.
On 20 September 2022, the Hawks members from Durban Serious Corruption Investigation arrested the duo for fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The case was postponed to 14 December 2022.
National Clean Audit Task Team (NCATT)
Case12 – Director General from the Premier Office in KwaZulu-Natal and accomplice arrested
On 29 August 2022, following an extensive investigation, an operation by the National Clean Audit Task Team of the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation led to the arrest of the Director General in the office of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Dr Nonhlahla Mkhize, Simphiwe Mabaso (official), Sthembiso Ralph Mhlanga (official), Mthokozisi Pius Duze (CEO), Babongile Mnyandu (CFO) and Thabiso Khumalo.
The suspects are alleged to have committed the crimes of contravention of section 51(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, defeating the ends of justice and intimidation relating to the Mhlathuze Water Board of Kwa Zulu Natal project of 2018 which resulted in the actual prejudice of R37 million.
Case postponed to 6 December 2022.
Case13 – Former Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Newcastle Municipality arrested
On 30 August 2016 Bonakude Consulting (Bonakude) was appointed as Service provider by Newcastle Municipality in terms of Regulation 32 of Supply Chain Management Regulations. The contract lapsed on the 31 December 2017.
In January 2018, the Municipal Manager Bekani Mswane extended the contract of Bonakude to continue to render services to the municipality involving R7 838 881- 64
The accused Velenkosini Mtshali, director of Bonakude Consulting (Pty) Ltd a privately owned company and Bhekisisa Eric Hlongwe, the former Chief Finance Officer: Newcastle Municipality and Bekani Mswane former Municipal Manager, were arrested and appeared before court on 2022-09-29.
The case was remanded to 2023-01-27.
Case 14 – Municipal Manager and accomplices arrested
It is alleged that a competitive bidding process was not followed by the Dihlabeng Local Municipality as the bid document of Zero Tolerance was not responsive and the price was altered by the BEC which prejudiced the municipality in an amount of R17 735 613-40.
The accused BP Molatseli (Municipal Manager), TW Montsitsi (Service Provider) from Configen T/A Zero Tolerance (Company), RR Montsitsi (Director of company) of Four Rivers Trading 82 were arrested and appeared before court on 2022-08-10.
The case was remanded to 18 to 22 September 2023.
Serious Commercial Crimes
Case 15 – couple in court on SASSA fraud and money laundering
Eastern Cape: On 27 September 2022, Palesa Aviwe, the former branch manager Elliot post office, her spouse Masonwabe Madlingozi, a former police officer, Busisiwe Geleba, a former post office teller and her husband Luyanda Brighton were arrested by the East London Serious Corruption Investigation of the Hawks for allegations of fraud and money laundering of SASSA funds to the value of R10.2 million.
They made their first court appearance in Mthatha specialised Crimes court and were released on R3000 bail each.
The matter is remanded to 14 January 2023 for copies of the dockets and other preliminary matters.
Convictions
CASE 16 – Dating scammer sentenced for defrauding his girlfriend
Limpopo – In September 2019, the accused, Emanuel Ramothuma (38) requested his girlfriend to enter into a joint business venture in order to strengthen their relationship. The accused requested her partner to assist in buying a Tractor Loading Backhoe (TLB) for their potential business. The victim deposited an amount of R470 000-00 into the account of the accused so that they can buy the TLB.
After some time, the victim requested to see the TLB but the accused presented fake documents as proof of purchase. The victim became suspicious when she did not see the TLB and decided to report the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation, subsequently the accused was arrested. After conducting a comprehensive investigation, the Hawks found that the accused did not buy the TLB instead he used all the money for himself.
On 11 August 2022, Ramothuma appeared before the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and he was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment.
Case 17 – Accused sentenced for theft and money laundering on water installation tender
Eastern Cape: On March 2022 Tyeks Plant Hire paid an amount of R1 million to the sub-contractors he appointed to work with him in the water installation tender he was awarded for the OR Tambo Municipality.
The trio, Senzo Mandiswa, Mawethu Makhubalo and Cheslie Sheabeh were arrested in Germiston and Johannesburg for hacking and pocketing the accounts of the subcontractors.
Mandiswa and Makhubalo were sentenced on 12 September 2022 to 15 years each.
Sheabeh will go on trial between 8 and 9 December 2022 as the trials were separated.
Case 18- Former regional manager appeared in court for multi millions rand fraud
Gauteng – On 07 August 2022 Kamal Maharaj (47) was arrested by the Johannesburg Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team of the Hawks in Pongola, Kwazulu Natal for theft and fraud estimated at R20 million.
The accused was employed by a Kayalami based TNA Packaging Systems South Africa Pty, Ltd as a regional manager from October 2013. The accused was a sole signatory in two of the company’s bank accounts where he siphoned about R20 million through transfers to his own account for self-enrichment.
The matter was remanded to 13 January 2023 for docket disclosure.
Case 19- Company directors arrested for defrauding Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)
Gauteng – On 10 August 2022 Mmatjanyana Gladys Matitoane (53), and Lucas Lefu Tseki (42) of Southern Place Group (Pty-Ltd) appeared before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on charges of theft and fraud.
This follows the initial arrest of Harvey Sicelo Buthelezi (50), in July this year on the same matter. Buthelezi is a director for Energy Fabrication (Pty) Ltd which embarked on joint venture with Southern Place Group (Pty-Ltd) in 2017. The Hawks investigation revealed that the Directors acting in concert allegedly approached the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) for assistance with a loan amounting to R185 million.
The loan was meant to fund a new company which would specialise in heavy steel constructions. The agreement between the parties and IDC was approved on the basis that the amount was to be divided into three aspects, property loan, working capital and wiping of companies debts.
The credit was approved on 16 October 2017, by the IDC and the money was paid on the 28 march 2018. The directors received the money and utilised it for personal gain and leisure which was a breach of the contract. The IDC has suffered a loss of R185 million as a result.
The matter was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in May 2021, this has now culminated in the arrests of the trio.
The accused will appear again on the 2 February 2023.
Case 20- Fraud suspects to appear in court
Northern Cape – On 04/08/2022, The Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation of Kimberley served a summons on the former bookkeeper at RK Henderson & Associates, Lazarus William Meas (48) to appear in court for alleged fraud.
Allegations are that in 2009, the accused did unlawfully and with the intent to defraud, misrepresented to the Commissioner of South African Revenue Service in the income tax return submitted for 2009 tax period that NIL income furnished was true and correct.
The accused knew that he received an amount of R2 294 699.00 and SARS suffered actual prejudice in the sum of R856 609.00. It is further alleged that in 2013 the accused did unlawfully and with intent to defraud, misrepresented to Commissioner of SARS in the income tax return submitted for 2010 tax period that an amount of R914 650.00 income furnished in the aforesaid income tax return was true and correct. The accused knew that he received an amount of R2 212 934 and an amount of R914 650.00 income furnished in the aforementioned income tax return was not true and correct. The Commissioner of SARS suffered actual prejudice in the amount of R810 506.74.
The suspect is expected to appear before Kimberley Regional Court on 29 November 2022.
Case 21 – Suspected mastermind arrested in connection with theft of over r36 million belonging to the bank deceased client
Limpopo – On 25 April 2022 Thabiso Matenda (28) who was employed by the First National Bank (FNB) based in Makhado allegedly opened a profile of the deceased foreign businessman client who died on 24 April 2022 without any authorization and stole R36 989 052-67. The stolen money was transferred into the new different bank accounts that were created and it was spent.
On 17 July 2022, a couple Nomaphelo Sethi (28) and Rody Martial Nzeya (43) were arrested in Johannesburg after they fought over R6 million that they had allegedly been received from one of the suspects.
On 13 September 2022, Moses Band January (47) who is believed to be one of the masterminds in connection with theft of over R36 million belonging to a deceased bank client was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Polokwane.
The four accused who are to face charges of fraud and money laundering in Makhado Magistrate’s court are out on R20 000-00 bail each and the case is postponed to 23 January 2023.
Case 22 – Municipal employees and city manager arrested for toilet tender fraud
Eastern Cape: During April 2020 a complaint was lodged with the Hawks with regard the irregular awarding of erection of flushing toilet tender in Gqeberha.
Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) employees were implicated during the investigation by East London based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation which subsequently led to the arrest of the former acting Executive Director of Human Settlement in the Municipality, Mvuleni Mapu (City Manager), Noxolo Nqwazi (businessman) Xolani Masela, Nwabiswa Masela, Luyolo Nqakula and former councillors Victor Manyati, Trevor Louw and Neville Higgins on 29 September 2022.
They were all released on R5000 each and the matter is remanded to 5 December 2022 in Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
Case 23 – Convictions accused sentenced for fraud, corruption and money laundering
KwaZulu-Natal –During the period between March 2013 and June 2014 Sivalingum Sastri (52) was a service provider at MS Cargo-forwarding and clearing company. He colluded with MS Cargo employee and presented false invoices as a result the company suffered a loss of R4 882 070, 27.
A case of fraud, corruption and money laundering was reported at Durban Central police station and referred to the Hawks members from Durban Serious Corruption Investigation. Sastri was arrested in May 2021, appeared several times in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court until he was convicted in July 2022.
On 14 October 2022, the court sentenced him to ten (10) years imprisonment for each count of for fraud, corruption and money laundering. These total of thirty (30) years imprisonment sentence will run concurrently and five years of each sentence is suspended for five years. Therefore he will serve five (5) years direct imprisonment.
Case 24 bookkeeper sentenced for misappropriation of funds
Eastern Cape: Between 2017 and 2020, Linda Ann Labuschagne (44) who was employed as a bookkeeper at the BVSA Tax Consultancy Firm and DP Wealth Tax Consultancy respectively, misappropriated funds to the value of more than R2.4 million.
On 20 July 2021, the Gqeberha Serious Commercial Crime Investigation of the Hawks arrested her. She was granted R10 000 bail, but failed to adhere to the bail conditions and re-arrested on 19 August 2022.
On 6 September 2022, the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court handed over a 15 years direct imprisonment sentence for 19 counts of fraud to Labuschagne with no option of a fine. Her other fraud case is still on the court roll and it is remanded to 29 November 2022.
Case 25 – Foreign national sentenced to 25 years imprisonment
Free State –It is alleged that in 2019, Akak Leandre Ekoto (49) approached the victim and informed him that he is a businessman dealing with the distribution of chemicals. The victim then decided to invest in the business so that he can become a distributor in the Bloemfontein area. The victim then deposited R432 000 on 16 September 2019 and R98 000 on 02 October 2019, into two different accounts of the accused.
After the victim deposited the money Ekoto failed to deliver chemicals to the victim as agreed. On 06 December 2019, Ekoto made contact with the victim and requested further amount of R45 000. The victim informed the local police in Bloemfontein who then arrested Ekoto on the same day.
A case docket was registered and handed over to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for further investigation.
On 20 July 2022, Ekoto appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court where he was convicted and sentenced to twenty five (25) years direct imprisonment for fraud.
Contravention of the Tax Law
The DPCI is handling 937 contravention of tax law case dockets nationally as on 31 August 2022. It should be noted that 121 arrests were effected and 40 accused were sentenced. Some examples follows.
Case 26 – Accused sentenced for fraud and contravention of Tax Administration Act
KwaZulu-Natal – On 28 September 2022, Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court convicted and sentenced Mjabulelwa Mngadi (40) for fraud as well as contravention of Tax Administration Act.
Mngadi was awarded a tender to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the Department of Social Development. In April 2020 he submitted an invoice to the value of R3.2 million to the department. He then failed to declare Value Added Tax to the South African Revenue Service.
A case of fraud was reported at Pietermaritzburg police station and the case docket was allocated to Hawks members for further investigation. He was charged accordingly and appeared in court several times until he was convicted and sentenced.
Mngadi was sentenced to pay R50 000.00 fine or three years imprisonment. He was further sentenced to three imprisonment wholly suspended. Mngadi’s company was also fined R100 000.00 which was wholly suspended for five years on condition that the accused is not found guilty of similar offence. He was ordered to pay R723 670.07 to the South African Revenue Service.
Case 27- Bogus investment schemer jailed for 10 years
Free State – On 23 May 2018 and 29 May 2018, the complainant lured into transferring R166 000 and R1 million respectively to Johandre Visagie (26)’s personal account intended for investment. The promised high interest as well as the money he deposited was lost. The matter was reported to the police and assigned to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation based in Bloemfontein.
On 23 July 2019, Visagie was served with summons to appear in court and made several subsequent court appearances.
On 28 July 2022, Visagie was convicted and sentenced by the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court to six months up to 10 years imprisonment for several counts of fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act which will run concurrently.
Serious Organised Crime
Crimes against the State (CATS)
Case 28 – Terrorists’ Leader Sentenced To Two Life Terms
Pretoria- In November 2019, the team of Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (CATS) arrested Harry Johannes Knoesen (64) who is the leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement also known as ‘Crusaders’ for contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Matters Act (POCDATARA), incitement to carry out terrorist attacks in South Africa, recruiting people to carry out terrorist attacks and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
The accused prepared and planned to carry out terrorist attacks on government by overthrowing the democratically elected government, targeting the national key points, attacking the military and police installations as well as informal settlements occupied by African people.
After several appearances, he was found guilty on 6 June 2022 on several counts. On 27 September 2022, he was sentenced to two life imprisonment terms and an additional 15 years imprisonment for planning terrorist attacks in South Africa, and three (3) years’ imprisonment for each count of unlawful possession of firearms as well as unlawful possession of ammunition by Mpumalanga High Court sitting at Middelburg.
Economic protected resources
Non-ferrous metals and damage to essential infrastructure
Case 29 – Two ex-Bredasdorp customer network centre employees, Elim Municipal official and one other suspect arrested
Western Cape – On the 27 July 2022 Four (4) suspects, Percival Olkers, Kay-Ann Olkers, Inge Fortuin and Carlo Cloete were arrested during a multi-disciplinary operation which consist of the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Bellville together with Crime Intelligence Winelands Cluster, GansBay and Struisbaai Detectives, supported by Eskom. They were arrested on a warrant of arrest for allegedly stealing copper cables worth about R306 065-00 in the Bredarsdorp area. The accused were granted bail and the case remanded to the 29 November 2022 (today) for Regional Court date.
Case 30 – Accused sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment for theft of copper cable
Free State – On 07 September 2022 Personal Mogovera (38), Tymore Sithole (24), and Solomon Sithole (21) appeared before the Kroonstad Magistrates’ Court where they were convicted and sentenced for theft of R100 000-00 worth of copper cable and illegal immigration.
Their conviction originates from an incident which took place on 31 December 2021 where the local police in Kroonstad were patrolling on the N1 road and became suspicious of a bakkie. The police then stopped the bakkie and searched it. Upon searching the vehicle, the police discovered copper cable and two bolt cutters that were used to harvest cables from Transnet infrastructure.
The case was then handed over to the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team based in Welkom which culminated into the conviction and sentencing of the accused persons.
The court sentenced the accused to fifteen (15) years direct imprisonment for theft and three (3) months imprisonment for illegal immigration, both sentences will run concurrently.
Case 31 – Accused sentenced for stealing fuel
KwaZulu-Natal- On 27 July 2022, Estcourt Regional Court convicted and sentenced Jumbo Silombo (35) to pay a fine of R100 000.00 or four years imprisonment for stealing fuel at Mimosadale area near Estcourt in November 2020.
Silombo and his accomplices were caught by private security company tempering with Transnet pipeline. His accomplices fled the scene and Silombo disconnected the pipe before he drove off with a tanker truck. A chase ensued and he was spotted at the truck stop were he abandoned the tanker truck. He fled on foot to the nearby bushes. Police were alerted and he was arrested and case allocated to the Hawks Serious Organised Crime in Kwa Zulu Natal. He appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court and his bail was successfully opposed until he was sentenced. Half of his sentence was suspended for three years.
Case 32 – Accused sentenced for tampering with essential infrastructure
Western Cape – Lubablo Mpumbane (38) was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for tampering with essential infrastructure by the Oudtshoorn Magistrate Court on 31 August 2022.
This comes after his arrest with four co-accused, Tankiso Sekutoana, Motlatsi Motaane, Mohau Khene and Bakoena Elliot Maliehe by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team based in George on 13 June 2017on R62 highway in Ladismith whilst cutting and transporting Telkom copper cables then sentenced in October 2022 to seven (7) years imprisonment each.
Narcotics
Case 33 – R1.3 million worth of drugs confiscated in Somerset West
Western Cape – The Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) based in Bellville together with Crime Intelligence (CI) Counter Narcotics and Gangs as well as Public Order Policing (POP) have on 10 September 2022 confiscated 33 000 mandrax tablets drugs with an estimated street value of R1.3 million and subsequently arrested Nkosixolile Seun Ngxazozo (38) near Somerset West.
A Mercedes Benz used to transport these drugs was seized and is being dealt with as an instrumentality used in the commission of crime which ought to be forfeited to the State.
The suspect made his first court appearance on a charge of dealing in drugs on 12 September 2022 at Strand Magistrate Court. The case was postponed to the 29 November 2022.
Case 34 – R400 million rand worth of drugs seized in Western Cape
Western Cape – On 04 August 2022, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) together with Crime Intelligence and Western Cape Traffic Department, arrested three men Ebrahim Kara, Mishack Ngobese and Elias Radebe who were found in possession of a large consignment of cocaine, with an estimated value of more than R400 million.
The suspects were intercepted by the team on the N1 towards Cape Town. The drugs concealed in false wooden boards, stacked at the back of the truck.
The matter is remanded to 15 December 2022 for further investigation.
Case 35 – Foreign national bust for smuggling cocaine worth R2.2 million
North West – On 28 August 2022, the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation in Mahikeng and officials of the Swartkopfontein Port of Entry arrested a foreign national John Laurent Dimoso (45) for allegedly smuggling Cocaine worth R2.2 million through the border.
The suspect was arrested after a taxi traveling from Botswana to South Africa was searched and three bags of cocaine were found hidden in false compartments of his two backpacks.
He will appear before the Lehurutse Magistrate’s Court again on 08 December 2022 on charges of Contravention of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992.
Cash-in-transit heist
During the period under review, twenty-four (24) arrests were effected including five (5) who died in exchange of fire with police that intended to secure their attendance in court. The nineteen (19) accused are all in custody. Six (6) convictions were secured with a combined sentence of two hundred and forty-eight (248) years imprisonment.
Case 36 – Eleven suspects arrested on conspiracy to commit CIT
On 5 August 2022 members of Tactical Operations Section, DPCI, Head Office acted on information of a large group of heavily armed suspects at a “safe” house in Hendrina, that were preparing to commit a CIT on an armoured vehicle which would be transporting a large amount of cash in the Hendrina area. When the Tactical Operations Section members approached the “safe” house they were fired at by the suspects and a shootout ensued.
Eleven (11) suspects were arrested and several exhibits were confiscated which include five (5) robbed vehicles, Mercedes Benz, VW GTI, Toyota Etios and Suzuki Swift; Ford Ranger; four (4) automatic rifles, 1 x AK47, 1 x R4 and 2 x R5; 1 Dashprod semi-automatic rifle; one hundred and ninety-five (195) rounds of ammunition; explosives and detonators.
The case is postponed to 01 December 2022.
CIT convictions
Case 37 – Accused sentenced to eighteen years
Gauteng – On 03 February 2020, a G4S cash-in-transit robbery took place in Bronkhorstspruit. Whilst fleeing the scene they were confronted by members of the Pretoria flying squad resulting in a shootout which left one member injured. Investigation lead the team to a house in Ekangala where Norman Kutumela (48) and two other suspects were arrested. At the house three firearms, cash and a grey Mercedes Benz were recovered.
Thorough Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime investigation, resulted in the conviction and sentencing of Kutumela. He remained in custody until his conviction on 08 September 2022 and the Ekangala Magistrate’s Court sentenced Kutumela to direct eighteen years (18) imprisonment and he was further declared unfit to possess a firearm in the future in terms of the Firearm Control Act.
Case 38 – Accused sentenced to 15 years for CIT
Mpumalanga: On 2000-04-17 David Thabo Dube was part of the group of suspects who robbed the Coin Security Armed Vehicle. It was established that he was also involved in another 2017 CIT at Klerksdorp where he was later sentenced to 25 year’s imprisonment.
He was charged on armed robbery, attempted murder in which he pleaded guilty. On 2022-08-10, the Nelspruit Regional court convicted and sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment which is made of 15 years for armed robber and 10 years for attempted murder.
Case 39 – Accused sentenced to 170 years for attempted murder, robbery and possession of a firearm and ammunition
Eastern Cape: On 2 May 2018, two Fidelity guards were robbed at Sasol garage in Linton Grange, Gqeberha.
Four suspects Sonwabo Gcuwa, Lusanda Ludziya, Nontuthuzelo Majola and Sithembiso Qhongoshanion were arrested by the Gqeberha Serious Organised Crime in a joint operation with National Priority Violent Crime of the Hawks between May and September in 2018. They were kept in custody until their sentencing.
On the 7 September 2022, Gqeberha High court sentenced on three counts of attempted murder, robbery, possession of firearm and ammunition to a total of 170 years imprisonment.
Firearms and explosives- conviction
Case 40 – Rustenburg accused gets ten years imprisonment for possession of explosives
North West – On 24 December 2019, David Phiri (39) was arrested in Rustenburg by members of Crime Intelligence after he was found in possession of explosives consisting of shock tubes and blasting cartridges.
The matter was subsequently handed over to the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, for further probing. The accused was released on bail and made a series of court appearances until he was ultimately convicted.
On 31 August 2022 the accused was sentenced to ten (10) years direct imprisonment by the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court for possession of explosives.
Human trafficking
In our endeavour to address the prevalence of false or self-proclaimed prophets who exploit unsuspecting victims, the Directorate continues to strive to remove the unscrupulous perpetrators.
Case 41- apostle sentenced to 6x life for rape, trafficking in persons & compelling a person to witness a sexual act
Eastern Cape: During July 2021, a 22-year-old female from Cape Town posted on Facebook that she was seeking for employment. Thereafter, she received a friend request from a person called Apostle Hlumelo Dywili from Hlumelo Dywili Ministries, which she accepted. She then received a message on Facebook messenger referring to her post about seeking employment and the sender requested her contact numbers. Through desperation, she forwarded her contact numbers. He
Lured other three other women and ended up raped all of them.
On 22 August 2021, Apostle Dywili was arrested by members of Bizana SAPS. The case was referred to East London Serious Organised Crime for investigation.
On 29 August 2022, he was convicted by the High Court sitting at Bizana on four counts of rape, two counts of trafficking in persons and one count of compelling a person to witness a sexual act
On 31 August 2022, Dywili to six (6) life imprisonment and additional five years imprisonment.
Police killings
The DPCI arrested twenty (20) suspects and secured convictions on two cases relating to police killings during the second quarter.
Case 42 – Suspect arrested for murder of policeman
Eastern Cape: On 23 October 2018, Captain Lumkile Wiseman Tyibilika, who was attached to VIP protection unit in Bhisho was murdered at Tshewula Street New Brighton, Gqeberha whilst inside his car.
Investigation was conducted by members of the Gqeberha based National Priority Violent Crimes of the Serious Organised Crime Investigation within the Hawks. On 3 December 2018, Aphiwe Nzimase (21) was arrested for murder on police. He appeared in court and released on bail but failed to honour court appearances condition. He was traced and re- arrested on 6 July 2022.
The matter is remanded to 8 December 2022 and he remains in custody.
Case 43 – Police murderer sentenced to 22 years
KwaZulu-Natal – On 29 April 2022, Sergeant Somani who was stationed at Umzimkhulu police station, was off duty and sitting in the lounge at her Umzimkhulu home when two suspects entered the house and shot her multiple times. The suspects fled on foot and she died at the scene.
An intensive investigation by the HAWKS Serious Organised Crime led to the arrest of Siyabulela Mbhele (24) on 11 July 2022. On 13 July 2022, Sergeant Somani’s sister, Bongeka Somani (42) who is still in custody, was arrested for the murder.
On 16 August 2022 the Kwa Zulu Natal High Court sitting at Pietermaritzburg convicted and sentenced Siyabulela Mbhele (24) to 22 years imprisonment for killing Sergeant Nokuthula Somani (55) who was brutally killed at Umzimkhulu in April this year.
Bongeka`s trial will resume on 7 to 18 February 2023 at Scottburgh High Court. She is still in custody
Illegal mining
Case 44 – Zama-Zama sentenced to hundred and twenty eight years for killing metro officer
Gauteng – On 22 June 2021, Superintendent Van Der Linde of Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) and his colleagues were searching for illegal miners at Marathon informal settlement in Primrose, Germiston. They suddenly encountered a group of illegal miners in the bushes who indiscriminately fired shots at the officers. A crossfire ensued resulting in Van Der Linde being fatally wounded. Following preliminary investigation, the EMPD members who were later joined by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation apprehended Bhekisisa Samora Dlamini (38) of Denver hostel within the vicinity of the scene.
On 13 September 2022, the High Court sentenced to a total of 128-years imprisonment, by the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court for the murder.
Endangered species
Case 45 – Abalone suspects in court
Northern Cape – On 16 August 2022, four suspects, Emelio Saal (29), Keith Saal (34), Conwald Wyngaard (37), and Hubert Felix (39) were arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation based in Springbok working together with local K9 unit and Department of Environmental Affairs officials for possession of abalone without permit.
The four were observed diving into the sea at Kleinsee village on the West Coast of the Northern Cape Province. During the operation, four diving suits, a bag containing units of abalone valued at an estimated amount of R84 000 and a vehicle which was used as instrument in the commission of the crime were confiscated.
The case is transferred from Springbok Magistrates’ Court to Port Nolloth Court and will be heard on the 12 December 2022.
Convictions
Case 46 German nationals sentenced for dealing in endangered species
Northern Cape – In November 2019, two foreign nationals, Daniel Lodhe (33) and Marco Drescher (54) were arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with Gauteng Nature Conservation team at Askham in the ZF Mgcawu District. The duo were released on bail after numerous court appearances.
On 21 July 2022, the duo were convicted and sentenced by the Upington Regional Court for four counts of dealing and possession of endangered species (reptiles) based on plea agreement. They each received a wholly suspended sentences of two to five years imprisonment or R50 000 to R75 000 fine. Lodhe was further instructed to pay R350 000 to the Nature Conservation whereas Drescher was instructed to pay R100 000. They were both declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The Hawks’ investigation positively linked the accused to another case where there was an attempt to illegally export endangered species. out of the country via the OR Tambo International Airport. The duo were rearrested on that matter and the case was handled by the Detective Service in Kempton Park where they also pleaded guilty.
Case 47 – Chinese national sentenced for illegal possession of abalone
Western Cape – On 30 August 2022, a 27-year-old foreign national, Lifu Chen pleaded guilty on charges of illegal possession and transporting of abalone in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act.
The total weight of the dried abalone was 202, 95 kilograms with a street value of more R1, 4 million. He was further charged in terms of the Immigration Act. He was sentenced to a wholly suspended sentence of 36 months imprisonment with an option of R50 000 fine for illegal possession of abalone, 12 months’ imprisonment with an option of R10 000 for two counts of contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act and another 12 months imprisonment for contravention of the Immigration Act.
Serious and violent crimes
CASE 48 – Former Policeman sentenced to life imprisonment for murder
KwaZulu-Natal – On 7 November 2018 at about 20h15 Mantombi Pearl Govender (38) was shot at multiple times whilst she was with her husband a former police official, Gary Govender. Gary claimed that his wife was shot at by three unknown suspect.
A case of murder was reported at Hibberdene Police Station. Preliminary investigation revealed that Gary was a suspect and a warrant of arrest was issued. He was arrested and charged for murder. Gary was released on bail, whilst out on bail he broke into his wife’s house and took her bank cards. He withdrew R200 000.00 in her account. Gary was re-arrested and charged for housebreaking. He was remanded in custody until he was convicted on 11 February 2022.
On Monday 18 July 2022 Durban High Court sentenced Gary Govender to life imprisonment for murder of his wife who was fatally shot at Leisuredene Village in Hibberdene. Gary was further sentenced to three years imprisonment for housebreaking and theft.
Case 49 – Wife and her accomplices sentenced to life in jail for murder of her husband
Mpumalanga –On 4 July 2011 at about 04:00 Devilier Dan Zulu (58) who was a taxi owner was shot in front of his gate at Extension 15 Embalenhle. The case of murder was registered and assigned to the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Secunda for further probe. Investigation established that Thembisa Zulu (47), the wife of the deceased hired two hitmen, Seetsa David Mofokeng (44), Mojalefa Christopher Matsobane (43) who ambushed the deceased in his residence.
On 02 September 2016, the hitmen were arrested. On 19 September 2016 the decease’s wife was arrested.
On 22 September 2022, the accused Mofokeng, Matsobane and Zulu were sentenced by Mpumalanga High Court sitting at Delmas. Each accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder while Mofokeng received further five years for unlawful possession of firearm and three years for unlawful possession of ammunition. The sentences will run concurrently. The trio were additionally declared unfit to possess firearms.
Asset forfeiture investigation
The making of orders by the relevant Courts is through the combined efforts of the Section: Asset Forfeiture Investigation, Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (PCSI) of the DPCI and the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority. Members of the Asset Forfeiture Investigation Section are responsible for the tracing and locating of property and providing evidential material to the AFU.
An assigned AFU Advocate will determine the potential for asset forfeiture and draft an application to the relevant Court for the making of an order. These matters are heard adjudicated in the civil Courts and not always receiving publications are compared to criminal matters.
The DPCI through successful asset forfeiture investigation and in collaboration with the AFU secured three (3) restraint orders to the value of R 41 888 553.31, thirty (30) preservation matters to the value of R70 338 277.00, eight (8) confiscation orders to the value of R9 287 475.32, and twenty (20) forfeiture orders to the value of R16 140 041.53.
CASE 50 – Theft & money laundering – 2nd leg The matter involves allegation of Theft of Money from Lesotho Central Bank and Money Laundering. The money was transferred to four (4) South African Bank entities accounts based in Ficksburg. The payments were done with the assistance of internal Lesotho government officials by intercepting legitimate vouchers that were authorized for legitimate services provided by other entities. A Forfeiture Order to the value of R7, 4 million was granted on 11 August 2022 where two houses and cash in the bank were attached.
Conclusion
In conclusion, programme director, the DPCI shall continue to execute its duties without fear, favour or prejudice.
I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa