Pretoria – The South Gauteng High Court has on Wednesday, 24 June 2015, sentenced nine convicted fraudsters to an effective 1680 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 a ringleader, was sentenced to spend 50 years behind bars for colluding with 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 Pinegowrie Post Office, was convicted for re-issuing Post Bank debit cards for the targeted accounts and withdrawing an amount totalling to R574 700 from
those accounts and depositing the money into Dithlakanyane’s bank account. For his part in the syndicate he will spend 28 years starring at prison walls.
A Post Bank teller at 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.
The branch manager of North Riding Post Office Sylvia Kedibone Mkhwane (40), a sister to Holysnworth Mkhwane, was convicted on five counts and subsequently sentenced to 30 years behind bars for authorising the withdrawal and withdrawing a cash amount of R467 250 from targeted accounts.
A Post Bank teller at Gardenview Post Office, Laura Kunene (49) 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. For her role in the syndicate’s modus operandi she was sentenced to 28 years behind bars.
Vuyokazi Mcence (38)was a Post Bank teller at Randburg and she was also found guilty on four counts of withdrawing R248 600 from the accounts targeted by the fraudsters. For her sins she will be facing prison walls for the next 28 years.
Another Post Bank 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 an amount of R532 550 from the victim’s accounts and the verdict was for his to spend 28 years in jail.
Karabo Louis Molefe (40) was the branch manager at Hillbrow Post Office and he was found guilty on 13 counts in that he fraudulently opened two Post Bank accounts, collecting identity copies of account holders, whose accounts had large amounts of money, thus identifying accounts to
be targeted. He was also found to have withdrawn R945 769.34 from targeted accounts. He also deposited money into Dithlakanyane’s bank account.
Thabo Bradley Makaneta (49) played a part in the forgery of documents and was found guilty on 47 accounts. He stole and amount of R860 450 and was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
The Acting Head of the Hawks Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza praised the investigating team for attaining a historic sentencing in the Hawks’ history.
“This has never happened before in the history of the Hawks. It was a seven-year long intensive investigation and the fact that in was spread in three provinces in 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. They thought they could beat the system by continuing with their criminal activity. But an extensive investigation
by Commercial Crime Unit detectives picked its way through the trail to uncover a criminal enterprise. I would like to reinforce that we were not alone and it’s worth noting the involvement of the Postbank Fraud
Unit who played an integral part in the investigation.
“We are pleased with the outcome and sentence given to the syndicate members and we hope this shows that we take this type of crime very seriously and will endeavor to prosecute offenders and those who take advantage of their positions. This should also send a stern warning to other fraudsters that their days are numbers. We are on their trail and it is just a matter of time before their reign of terror is abruptly brought to a halt”, an impressed Ntlemeza said.