‘SANDF recruiter’ in the dock
THE man who allegedly scammed almost 300 people and lured them to the city using a bogus SANDF recruitment agency appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
While waiting for court proceedings to start, his entourage threatened and swore at journalists.
Petrus Ndaba, 55, commonly known as “The General” by his “recruits”, will remain in custody until his next appearance on July 5. He faces charges of fraud and theft. SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said bogus recruitment agencies had been a problem since 2010, and that the latest scam in Karenpark was by far the biggest.
The SANDF could not confirm or deny that Ndaba was a colonel in its ranks, as he claimed.
Dlamini encouraged the public to report such activities, and any people who solicited money with the promise of integration into the SANDF, to the nearest police station or army base or station.
“It is illegal for those who are taking advantage of young people by promising them integration into the SANDF,” Dlamini said.
Last year Ndaba was in hot water for allegedly luring former Namibian freedom fighters to Pretoria on promises of pension payouts for their services during the pre-independence war in that country.
According to those who heeded his call, they were kept prisoner and assaulted before he ordered them out of South Africa.
This week, a group of people aged between 18 and 30 were discovered on the streets of Karenpark, north of Pretoria, with bags, blankets and other belongings.
He allegedly brought them to the city on the pretext of training them for SANDF jobs. They had been kicked out of a house due to unpaid rent.
The Akasia police arrested Ndaba after the Department of Social Development swooped on the area, providing food and water for the group who were said to have slept outside in the cold for three days.
They had allegedly been duped into paying “exorbitant sums for training and enlisting in the SANDF”.
The victims were recruited mostly from KwaZulu-Natal, and had reportedly paid between R300 and R800 for registration‚ R1 800 for training as well as R200 a month since last year.
They were provided with temporary shelter.