Bogus lawyers create R400k ruse

26 February 2013 - 02:35 By KATHARINE CHILD
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The Post Office strike at Tshwane sorting centres and some Johannesburg branches has been caused by an elaborate scam involving about R400000 in which about 1500 employees were conned.

Post Office head of security Patrick Ngomane said, since 2011, staff had paid monthly stipends to so-called lawyers for court action. The employees were led to believe the Post Office was paying them incorrectly and that they would share in billions of rands when they won their court case, he said.

However, the Post Office maintains it owes no staff any money and the employees were conned by other staff members. It has since been discovered that "actuaries", who did audits to show staff their salaries had discrepancies, were not registered with the Actuarial Society of South Africa.

Ngomane said the Post Office has been unable to trace the lawyers who took the money each month, or verify if they are qualified.

The matter has been handed over to the police.

Court papers filed to reclaim the missing billions have a case number linked to a finalised divorce.

Janras Kotsi, Post Office group executive, said management had met with the striking workers and were expecting operations to return to normal.

Post office employees in Johannesburg and Pretoria have been on strike since last week.

The Communication Workers Union was unavailable for comment yesterday, despite multiple attempts to reach its spokesman for a comment.

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