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Sheriff jailed for helping herself to R1m from trust account

28 May 2022 - 10:26
Mthatha sheriff Pumla Ningiza has been jailed for stealing close to R1m from a trust account.
Mthatha sheriff Pumla Ningiza has been jailed for stealing close to R1m from a trust account.
Image: 123RF/Olivier Le Moal

An Eastern Cape sheriff has been slapped with an eight-year jail sentence for stealing close to R1m from a trust account.

Pumla Ningiza, 60, was sentenced in the Mthatha specialised commercial crimes court on Thursday. Hawks spokesperson Capt Yolisa Mgolodela said she committed the crimes between November 2015 and May 2018.

“Ningiza, as the sheriff was instructed by attorneys and banks to be responsible for selling property on auction and deposit the money to the sheriff’s account and keep the money until the time is right to be paid to the deserving beneficiaries,” said Mgolodela.

Instead, in a series of property auctions, Ningiza pocketed the money, and she was reported to the SA Board of Sheriffs by beneficiaries who lost a total of R995,000.

The matter was referred to the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Mthatha and Ningiza was arrested in December 2020.

She was ordered to pay a R100,000 fine or serve an eight-year jail sentence. “In addition, she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment which was wholly suspended provided she does not commit the same offences during the period of suspension,” said Mgolodela.

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