A 55-year-old Senyane Alton Seropane Mphethi, a prominent and influential businessman in Mpumalanga, was on Friday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that he pays R3 million with the first instalment of R50 000 on or before 30 August 2021. He was convicted on 31 July for 34 counts of fraud by the Ermelo Regional Court.
The accused had a contract with the Mpumalanga Department of Education (DOE) to transport school children around Gert Sibande District Municipality.
Captain Dineo Sekgotodi of Mpumalanga Hawks’ said Mphethi then submitted duplicate claims to the DOE where he changed the invoice numbers and the dates when submitting the claims. “The department suffered a loss of R830 000 on the first entity and R1997 964 on the second one.”
The matter was reported to the Hawks and the accused was arrested by the Mpumalanga Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in 2015.