See who've had their fingers in the till

10 June 2013 - 02:02 By Sapa
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. File photo
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. File photo

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Sunday made public the names of 42 convicted fraudsters in the government's name-and-shame campaign yesterday.

"This aggressive stance has been initiated to ensure that, for the first time in the history of our democracy, criminals will be made known and held accountable for their actions publicly," he said in Pretoria.

"It also aims to deter others from engaging in corrupt and criminal activities."

The names were made public because of the large amounts of money involved. Other names from the list of over 3000 convicted individuals will be released later.

On the list are the names and identity numbers of many government employees and others who defrauded government departments and institutions, and municipalities. Their sentences are also listed.

"In the 2012-2013 financial year, criminal investigations were recorded against 242 people in 89 priority cases involving serious corrupt incidents. These involved R5-million or more per incident."

Ironically, 152 officials in the justice, crime prevention and security cluster of government departments were convicted of corruption.

The list will be posted on the websites of government departments that are part of the cluster, and on that of the Government Communication and Information System.

"Through the Treasury, companies found guilty of all forms of corruption can be blacklisted," Radebe said.

In one instance a syndicate hacked into the Post Bank's computers and stole R42-million by transferring the funds into accounts created for this purpose.

Boy Meshack Thekiso, David Mtsoane, and Teboho Masoleng were sentenced to 25 years, 15 years and 15 years respectively. The case against a fourth accused, Kabelo Kekana, was postponed to July 22.

In another case, fraudsters gained access to the SA Revenue Service's system in Midrand with the help of an employee and a consultant. They changed banking details on the system to fraudulently pay tax refunds totalling R77-million to syndicate members.

Ali Raza Naqvi, Mazhar Raza Syed, Zaheer Seedat, Samuel Thabo Gouwe, Audella Makhubu and Fiza Naqvi were convicted. Three of them were sentenced to 24 years and three to 10 years, suspended for five years.

Radebe said South Africa was in line with international best practice such as the UN Convention against Corruption and the SADC protocol on corruption.