A former municipal employee, who was found guilty of fraud was lucky not to be sent to jail, instead, the 37-year-old woman was slapped with a sentence of 16 months house arrest.
Earlier this week, Khensani Antoinette Mashaba was found guilty of fraud and sentenced by the Mhala Regional Court to house arrest.
Between April 2012 and November 2012, the accused was employed by the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality as a public officer.
Investigations revealed that she enticed two female relatives to open a company – Amiway CC, which she used to get contracts with her employer, the municipality
Using the women as fronts, Mashaba defrauded the municipality. Amiway CC was supposed to transport or supply water to areas in the Mkhuhlu region.
She made out invoices using Amiway CC even where no services were rendered by the company to the municipality.
Mashaba made the application for the rendering of service by Amiway CC on behalf of the Municipality.
The company was paid R700 070 for services supposedly rendered. Mashaba took the money, said the two women who insisted they were unaware of the goings-on.
Mashaba also submitted a duplicate claim of R93 480 to Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. Again the money was paid to Amiway CC, which the accused controlled.
In 2015, the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) was alerted to the fraud by a whistleblower.
Investigators found out that money was being paid into an Amiway CC business account for services that were never rendered.
A case was opened and later transferred to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga for further investigation.
The suspect was arrested, charged with fraud, theft, and corruption after the two relatives confessed to opening the company and having no control over its affairs, which were handled by Mashaba.
On Monday the accused was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on condition that she is not convicted of fraud and corruption during that period.
Mashaba was ordered to pay back R93 480 to the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
The accused also has to submit herself to correctional supervision for a period of 12 months.
Correctional supervision shall include house arrest at her home in Culcutta Trust,16 hours of community service per month for 12 months.
The community service must be performed over the weekend at Culcutta/Mkhuhlu Police Station.
During the period of house arrest, the accused must refrain from abusing drugs or alcohol
Mashaba must submit herself to an assessment with a social worker at Bushbuckridge Community Corrections and she is not allowed to leave the magisterial district of Mapulaneng.