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Another suspect expected in R103m Absa fraud case

Athembile Mpani and Gershom Matomane appear in the Johannesburg specialised commercial crimes court in the Absa R103m fraud case in March. They are expected to be joined by another suspect on Thursday.
Athembile Mpani and Gershom Matomane appear in the Johannesburg specialised commercial crimes court in the Absa R103m fraud case in March. They are expected to be joined by another suspect on Thursday.
Image: National Prosecuting Authority

Another suspect is expected to appear in the R103m Absa fraud case, which resumes in the Johannesburg commercial crimes court, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Thursday.

The man, who was arrested during an operation in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday,  is expected to join Athembile Mpani, 20, and Gershom Matomane, 29, in court.

The new suspect allegedly received more than R2m and bought a Mercedes V Class vehicle valued at R1.6m.

The case against the late Absa specialist engineer Xolela Masebeni was withdrawn after a death certificate was presented to court during the last appearance in March. Masebeni was killed in February while sitting at home in Komani (Queenstown) in the Eastern Cape with friends.

Masebeni was accused of fraudulently transferring R103m into six bank accounts over four months last year.   

During the last court appearance, Matomane was joined in the case.

Mpani, who is Masebeni’s widow,  and Matomane, face charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly committed between September and December last year.

It is alleged that R59m was deposited into Matomane’s bank account. He is out on R30,000 bail granted by the Bellville magistrate’s court. Matomane has a pending case in Bellville, Cape Town, for allegedly defrauding Capitec Bank, with five accomplices, of R3.4m.

The alleged R103m fraudulent transactions were uncovered by Absa’s forensic division, which reported the matter to the police.

The investigation alleges that Masebeni accessed a corporate business account and transferred the funds. Masebeni was arrested by the Hawks in Komani  on January 19 and appeared in the Queenstown magistrate's court the next day.

“The state has managed to recover R66m so far and is in the process of seizing three vehicles that were allegedly purchased using the defrauded money,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said during the last appearance in March, adding that more arrests were imminent.

TimesLIVE


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