Six accused in R1.2m scam

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.

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

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. —