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KWAZULU-NATAL – On Monday, 2 August 2021 Sithembile Khumalo (43) who is a government employee in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development briefly appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court for fraud, corruption and money laundering pertaining to eleven contracts awarded by the department between 2015 and 2016.
The accused allegedly connived with her colleagues and the service providers to defraud the department. They allegedly compiled orders and awarded tenders to the service providers who were also well aware that no services would be rendered. Fraudulent documents and invoices were submitted as claims. As a result, the department suffered actual prejudice of R3.9 million.
A case of fraud was reported at Hilton police station and the case docket was allocated to the Hawks members from Pietermaritzburg Serious Commercial Crime Investigation. Six accused, Lethiwe Mbatha (46) a former employee of the department and the following service providers, Slindelo Mbhele (44), Msizi Mbense (40), Fayers Mahlangu (54), Princess Mthombeni (47) and Patrick Mthombeni (52) were arrested in March 2021. They were all granted R10 000 bail each.
Khumalo was also granted a R10 000 bail and will appear together with her accomplices on 13 August 2021.