Six ac­cused in R1.2m scam

Re­tired teacher conned of cash by syn­di­cate

Daily Dispatch - - News - By ZWANGA MUKHUTHU

THE East London Mag­is­trate’s Court re­served judg­ment yes­ter­day in the mat­ter of six peo­ple ac­cused of de­fraud­ing a re­tired 61-year-old Lusik­isiki teacher of R1.2-mil­lion.

Mag­is­trate Robin Tyler heard clos­ing ar­gu­ments by se­nior state pros­e­cu­tor Ad­vo­cate Jac­ques Cil­liers and de­fence at­tor­ney Henry van Breda last Fri­day in the fraud mat­ter in­volv­ing Nazib Ma­jwe, Jimmy Seluwu­jjo, Mo­hamed Wam­abirigwe, Brian Kibirige, Nasifu Walakira and Phumeza Mbana.

She was due to hand down judg­ment yes­ter­day but told the court she was swamped with other cases and could not fi­nalise the mat­ter yes­ter­day.

She post­poned the case to Septem­ber 21 for judg­ment.

The ac­cused, who are be­tween the ages of 25 and 59, were ar­rested in East London and Port El­iz­a­beth by mem­bers of the Hawks last month.

They are be­lieved to be mem­bers of a syn­di­cate of bo­gus tra­di­tional heal­ers who duped vic­tims into in­vest­ing mil­lions with them to “dou­ble their money”.

Many of the un­sus­pect­ing vic­tims were gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, with teach­ers and nurses top­ping the list.

The Hawks have made a string of ar­rests in re­cent months re­gard­ing the scam.

The state says the Lusik­isiki teacher vis­ited a bank in Ox­ford Street, East London, in Au­gust to with­draw a large amount of money.

A man­ager at the bank be­came sus­pi­cious and con­tacted the po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter as it was not the first time the woman had been to the bank to make a huge with­drawal.

Po­lice ar­rived at the bank and ques­tioned the woman, who said she was with­draw­ing the money for the ac­cused.

The woman fur­ther told the po­lice she had al­ready given the ac­cused R1.2-mil­lion and that one of them was her tra­di­tional healer.

The As­set For­fei­ture Unit has al­ready frozen the bank ac­counts of the ac­cused, with some R1.1-mil­lion in it. — zwangam@dis­patch.co.za

Pic­ture: ZWANGA MUKHUTHU

IN THE DOCK: Nazib Ma­jwe, Jimmy Seluwu­jjo, Mo­hamed Wam­abirigwe, Brian Kibirige, Nasifu Walakira and Phumeza Mbana in the East London Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day

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