Tebogo Msimanga |
The Zeerust Regional Court sentenced Kealeboga Coldridge Mongae (47) to six years of direct imprisonment for defrauding the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality in North West Province over R1milliion.
Mongae’s conviction emanates from an incident on 16 May 2012, whereby he collected two cheques from the municipality for a service he did not render.
North West National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson Henry Mamothame said Mongae was at the time a liaison officer, between the Municipality, Born Free Investments (Pty) LTD, Lesedisedi and Lebogangkatlego Joint Venture and private companies that were contracted by the municipality to render a service. “He then pretended to collect the cheques on behalf of the two companies and cashed the money for his private use.Before being summoned to appear in court on 29 April 2021, the municipality had to pay the same amount to the service providers he defrauded.”
Mamothame added that the municipality requested that he reimburse the money that he defrauded, but he failed to honour his commitment to repay.
“In aggravation of sentence, Adv. Siphiwo Jika argued that fraud is a serious criminal offence that often leads to community unrest due to a lack of service delivery. He argued that municipalities and government departments often carry the blame for lack of services delivery while the real culprits of such are ordinary members of the community who are defrauding the state.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari-Sekhaolelo lauded the corroborated effort by the police and the prosecution that led to a conviction. “Fraud and corruption have become so rife, such that it tops National Prosecuting Authority’s list of priority offences that need to be tackled.”